The rain couldn’t stop thousands of college students from filling their backpacks with promotional products last Saturday, as nonprofit organization Campus Philly held its annual CollegeFest at Dilworth Park. The event aimed to show students all that Philadelphia has to offer by providing free admission and transportation to many of the city’s top arts and cultural institutions. In addition, more than 20 companies and brands set up shop with information packets, discounts, games and prizes.
“There is no better way to welcome college students to Philadelphia than with a massive all-day festival right in the middle of the city,” said Deborah Diamond, president of Campus Philly. “CollegeFest is the perfect introduction to what this city has to offer, and we’re thrilled to present another exciting welcome for the region’s college students. By providing them with opportunities throughout the year to experience the city beyond their campus, Campus Philly helps students fall in love with Philadelphia, and we’re seeing more and more students stay here after graduating.”
Various companies like Capital One organized prize wheels with attendees answering questions and participating in fun challenges to receive their choice of branded sunglasses, clip holders or drawstring bags. A.C. Moore gave out drawstring bags as well, in addition to having a spray painting table for students to design artwork for their dorm rooms and apartments. The Philadelphia Phillies handed out baseball caps, trivia cards, pins, pens and sunglasses to all those who followed the organization on Snapchat and Instagram.
“It’s a great opportunity to see the museums and get lots of freebies, which I live for,” said Lisa Max, a senior at St. Joseph’s University. “It’s cool seeing familiar companies and different events and like-minded college people.”
CubeSmart invited students to play Baggo for prizes of hand sanitizer, clip holders, drinkware and more. Cigna had a giant Connect Four game set up with prizes of logoed cups, pens, hand sanitizer and socks. Following an “I Love the ‘90s” theme with toys and games such as Lite Brite, Skip-It and Simon, Power Crunch handed out logoed sunglasses and fanny packs.
Tarahgee Morris, an RA at Temple University, brought his residents to CollegeFest after enjoying his first visit last year. “It’s an opportunity to network, have fun and experience Philadelphia on a more holistic level,” Morris said.
CollegeFest draws students from 140 different colleges and universities in Philadelphia, central Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. In 2017, the event was attended by more than 5,000 students and generated over 5,500 visits to the city’s museums.