This Friday, students can see Downtown Binghamton turn into a sea of green as Binghamton University hosts its first-ever Homecoming Block Party.
The event, open to all BU students and alumni, will see Gorgeous Washington Street closed from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. The block party serves as the opening to homecoming weekend and is sponsored by Bearcats of the Last Decade (BOLD), an initiative within the BU Alumni Association dedicated to recent graduates.
According to Tenley Halaquist, assistant director of alumni engagement, BU alumni have spent some time looking for a good way to kick off the celebration and work Friday into the festivities. After doing research on other universities, the homecoming committee found that many of them have had success with hosting block parties during their alumni weekends.
“We decided to run with the idea because not only does it get alumni and students in one place, it also engages the local community,” Halaquist wrote in an email.
Halaquist said there were a lot of moving pieces while planning because of the off-campus venue, but support from Binghamton and private businesses helped ensure the event was set up smoothly.
“Our partnership and relationship with the Washington Street businesses […] and the City of Binghamton really drove this idea to a reality,” Halaquist wrote. “There are also a lot of [behind-the-scenes] vendors that were excited to get on board to make sure all event logistics were covered.”
Attendees will receive small plates from participating restaurants, including Binghamton Hots, Craft, Strange Brew and Buffy’s Burritos, and a drink ticket for those over 21. Additionally, students who register online will receive a free tote bag from Muckles’ Ink as long as supplies last.
“The purpose is to provide a good-vibe event where alumni and students can meet each other, meet up with friends and just have some fun interacting with local businesses,” Halaquist wrote. “Also, it is pretty awesome to see [Downtown] turn [Pantone] 342.”
The Homecoming Block Party will cost $15 to attend, and tickets can be purchased online or at the event.