Groundhog 2014 takes Dallas by storm

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Clare Myers, Staff Writer

                            UD’s 51st celebration of Groundhog Day a huge success 

From left, Kyle Gjolberg, Michael Ball, and CJ Davies show some enthusiasm at the Groundhog Powderpuff game, one of several Groundhog events this past Saturday.  –Photo by Paul Fiesel
From left, Kyle Gjolberg, Michael Ball, and CJ Davies show some enthusiasm at the Groundhog Powderpuff game, one of several Groundhog events this past Saturday.
–Photo by Paul Fiesel

Although it is hard to imagine a “bad” Groundhog, it is safe to say that Groundhog 2014 was, without a doubt, a raging success.

The official festivities kicked off on Thursday with Groundhog TGIT, featuring the local cover band Hard Night’s Day. Packed with students and alumni, the crowd joined in singing along to Beatles songs, and was just as enthusiastic in welcoming the new royalty to the stage. Seniors Alex Lemke and Ivanna Bond were crowned Groundhog 2014 King and Queen, receiving bedazzled helmets that seemed specially designed to get them safely through whatever the weekend held in store.

When asked how it felt to be the Groundhog Queen, Bond replied, “Hashtag blessed.”

The first official event on Friday was the Champagne Breakfast in Haggar Café, in which 42 bottles of champagne were consumed. Students enjoyed free breakfast and mimosas with university officials, including executive vice president Bob Galecke and vice president for enrollment and student affairs Dr. John Plotts.

The breakfast was coordinated by Senior Committee members Alex Lemke, Laura Talbot, Mike O’Donnell, Mary Mackenzie and Cierra Houchins.

“It was a great opportunity for the faculty and staff to mix and mingle in a laid-back environment,” Houchins said. “Days like this make the prospect of graduation even more bittersweet.”

Saturday was packed with Groundhog festivities, beginning with the Student Foundation’s 5K. Several members of the track-and-field team linked arms to cross the finish line first as a pack, but their plan was thwarted by the Groundhog mascot, who ran in front of them. Wanting to beat the mascot, freshman Guido Marasigan broke ranks and sprinted ahead to win the race. In the women’s division, junior Meghan Falconer took first, with classmate Colleen Slattery close at her heels.

Junior Maggie Krewet, who organized the event, said she was pleased at the turnout.

The next event, Groundhog Powderpuff, was a fierce match. Ending in a tie, the game featured standout performances from upperclassmen and underclassmen alike.

“There were a lot of people at the event, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,” said junior Anthony Campise, who coached the upperclassmen. He congratulated the underclassmen on their hard work in keeping up with the juniors and seniors.

In the afternoon, the rugby team faced off against Midwestern State University. There was a huge turnout of both students and alumni, but despite loud and enthusiastic support from the fans, the team fell to its opponent 15-10.

A new event this year was the hard-cider-tasting event sponsored by Woodchuck Cider, held that afternoon in the Rathskeller. Those of legal drinking age were given free Woodchuck cider and assorted brand merchandise, including bottle openers and beer koozies. Many students stumbled upon the little-publicized event by accident, but were pleasantly surprised to find it.

“They were giving me cider faster than I could drink it,” Bond said. “It was crazy!”

The main event of Groundhog Weekend, Party in the Park, seemed to be enjoyed immensely by all who were able to make it. The $30 admission price that many students had seen as steep, proved to be well worth the money. Attendees snacked on hot dogs and s’mores and could sip hot cocoa or — for those over 21 — more adult beverages.

Onstage, the live music was a hit. The alumni band, Second Hand Smoke, which started off the night, and the student band, The Kingfisher, both received many cheers from the audience. Hydra Melody, which closed down the party, was also a success with fans.

“I was glad to have a professional-caliber band at Groundhog,” commented senior Andrew Moon, whose cousin was in the band.

Yet it was the cover band, High Definition that stole the show, playing rousing renditions of “What Did the Fox Say?” and “Superbass,” among others.

“Always a crowd pleaser,” senior Charmi Vince remarked. “They were the best.”

With another memorable Groundhog over and attendees busy laughing at pictures and catching up on homework and sleep, only one question remains on everyone’s minds: When is Groundhog 2015?

 

 

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