Laker Fan Fest Kicks Off School Spirit

Kate Branum

AUTHOR: Kate Branum

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The time has come for Grand Valley State University students to fire up the school spirit, and what better way to do so than by participating in this year’s Laker Fan Fest.

The event will be held on Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. at Lubbers Stadium on the Allendale campus as a part of Laker Welcome Events for incoming freshmen.

Laker Fan Fest is a long-standing tradition within the GVSU athletics department and on campus that aims to teach incoming students about some of the GVSU sports teams and the sports traditions on campus, such as student section cheers at various sporting events. The event also gives students a chance to connect with student athletes and faculty in the athletics department.

“Fan Fest kicks off our fall sports seasons,” said Erin Kuester, the athletics marketing and promotions director at GVSU. “It’s a good way to welcome students back to our campus and get everyone excited for the season ahead. It’s also a great way to help incoming freshman feel connected to the GVSU community.”

During Fan Fest, students will have an opportunity to obtain autographs by the athletes as well as visit the many local vendors on site handing out promotional items and free food. There are a number of activities that students will be allowed to participate in during the event such as: a football toss, field goal kick and the chance to try on some football gear and take photos with the athletes.

“We gear the event towards fall sports. We have activity stations with players from our football, soccer and volleyball teams,” said Kelsey Penland, community relations director at GVSU. “We want our students to get as chance to meet their peers, make connections and then come out to support them at their games.”

Last year, Fan Fest had a turnout of over 4,300 students, most of them incoming freshmen.

“Students are always very excited for the chance to meet and interact with the fall sports teams, specifically the freshman class. So, we normally always see a great turn out. We are expecting right around 4,500 this year, but always hope for more,” Penland said.

Though Laker Fan Fest is one of the most popular Laker Welcome Events, Penland said this year, the goal is to get more of the outside community involved. It is important for freshmen students to be able to make connections right away, but it is equally important to keep returning students invested in sports at GVSU.