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Countdown to Packapalooza

Excitement is growing on campus with the approach of Packapalooza, the biggest celebration of the year in honor NC State’s 125th anniversary. With the Aug. 18 event just days away, organizers are putting the finishing touches on plans to turn Hillsborough Street into a giant panorama of Wolfpack pride.

“There’s red and white in every part of the planning for this event,” says Justine Hollingshead, who’s working with an enthusiastic team of students, staff, alumni, vendors and community members to pull  it off. “Everybody involved has a strong connection to NC State.”

It’s easy to feel the Packapalooza energy on campus. More than 120 academic departments, support units and student organizations have jumped on the bandwagon to participate in the street fair, which will stretch from the Belltower to Pogue Street (in front of the D.H. Hill Library).

Something for Everybody

“This is a family-friendly event,” Hollingshead says. “We’ll have something to appeal to every Wolfpack supporter.”

The popular band Carolina Liar will perform at the Belltower stage.

In fact, the event will feature a remarkable variety of activities throughout the day, beginning at 2 p.m. with the Belltower chimes and concluding at 10 p.m. with another Belltower tradition, the lighting of the tower red to commemorate an important occasion in the life of the university.

In between, celebrants can enjoy musical entertainment at two stages, one next to the Belltower and the other in front of Patterson Hall, and check out displays promoting NC State’s world-class research, scholarship and extension activities.

The university will also unveil phase two of the Coaches’ Corner project, which honors the accomplishments of NC State’s most admired athletics coaches. Other family activities will be offered in specially designated areas: the sports zone, green  zone, arts zone and international zone, among others.

Of course, a festival wouldn’t be complete without food. Restaurants and merchants along Hillsborough Street are looking forward to joining the celebration. Expect to find fair foods like turkey legs, roasted corn, and deep-fried candy bars, as well as NC State’s own Howling Cow ice cream.

Enduring Traditions

Hollingshead says the students who first attended the university after it was founded in 1887 would feel right at home at the Hillsborough Street festival.

“Our mission and how we serve the community and what we stand for has remained true for the last 125 years,” she says. “And judging by the strength of Wolfpack pride, that will stand the test of time for the next 125.”

Packapalooza is being organized by the NC State 125th Anniversary Committee, the NC State Union Activities Board and the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation.