We celebrated the 4th of July a bit early around here partly because service men and women have a big presence on our campus and also because the real 4th of July marks the first official day of our three week summer break. Two weekends ago (June 22nd) the Residence Life and Rec Center staffs put on the annual Stars and Stripes event here at the CIA. The festivities began on Saturday night with a huge fireworks show overlooking Anton Plaza and a dance party in the plaza in honor of current students who served in the U.S. Military. All week in expectation of the throw-down the front of Roth Hall looked like this:
To kick off the night, we started a new tradition of naming a few post-military students and having them come forward and be formally recognized for their service. The Culinary Institute was actually founded in 1946 (originally in Connecticut) as a place for World War II veterans to get job training after the war ended, so the relationship between the U.S. Military and the CIA has always been a good one. After the students were recognized, the national anthem was played to start the fireworks show. And for being June 22nd, it really felt a lot like July 4th...
I was hugely impressed by the fireworks display that was set off and the large crowd the entire event drew. It seemed like just about everyone on campus showed up, plus a lot of faculty, staff and community members who work there. Maybe I just really like fireworks, but I thought it was pretty awesome.
The fun continued on Sunday with a carnival that would make even the oldest soul feel like a kid again. There was everything from an inflatable obstacle course to a zip line, and so much food in between. Only at the CIA would they serve Snow Cones flavored 'rosemary lemon' and 'lavender blueberry.' Among other treats, there were homemade oreos, freshly brewed Arnold Palmers, made from scratch 'choco-tacos' and of course the classic burgers, dogs and potato salad.
They even had a dunk tank where you could dunk your favorite RA and donate money to the U.S. Military all at once:
|Festive students pose with a student serving in the National Guard and as an RA by the dunk tank.|
Happy 4th of July from CIA Hyde Park! There will be a whole 'lotta relaxing going on here for the next month while we are summer break, we hope that you're doing the same!
Want to see more photos of the event? Check out the Stars & Stripes album on our facebook page!