By, Rick Beitman
All Hallows’ Eve comes but once a year and many T-Birds took to Tempe to celebrate on Friday, October 31, GOGO style. – A group of over 160 students made a foray deep into Sun Devil territory for the event on Mill Avenue at the third-story venue, the Rooftop Lounge & Patio. Cosponsored by the Get Outta Glendale Organization (GOGO), the Latin American Business and Culture Club (LABCC), and the Thunderbird Rugby Club, the Halloween party was a night of clever costumes, party buses, cocktails, dancing, and gleeful frolic.
Halloween, popular and largely commercialized in the U.S., was a novelty to some international students, such as Raphael Rique, MBA student from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Clad as an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, this Halloween was a unique experience for Rique:
“It was my first Halloween celebration in the U.S. and I was quite impressed how people value this holiday here since I didn’t expect that so many people would go to the streets to celebrate. I perceived the celebration of this holiday here in the U.S. to be similar to how Carnival is celebrated in Brazil, where people also go to the streets all dressed up in different costumes.”
As far as numbers go, the event was an absolute success. Initial projections were for 80 partygoers and called for two buses, but ultimately four buses were needed with over 160 T-Birds in attendance, according to Shani Bird, president of the GOGOs, which completely “surpassed expectations”. Bird, MBA student from Kingston, Jamaica, was the architect who helped orchestrate the whole affair. Of the event, Bird felt it was quite the ordeal:
“The planning process was definitely intense! A day before the event, I even joked with the previous GOGOs President that party planning felt like a full-time job! I truly have to thank my awesome co-planners, Sean Slattery, of the Rugby Club, and Evan Canham, from LABCC – without them, this event would not have been possible. I also have to thank my fabulous marketing mavens, Margaret Mims, Tion Barnaby and Rawin Rojanathara! All we wanted was for people to have a blast, and from what we saw last night, it looks like we met that goal!”
However, the hard work paid off with the end result, “It was so much fun! Just seeing all my fellow T-Birds letting loose and having a ball made me the happiest girl in the world. The location was also perfect. Our attendees had the choice of dancing in a regular club setting, or rocking out on the club’s rooftop patio which overlooks the city. It was great!”
Attendees like Caroline Kenduywa, MBA student from Kenya, agreed with Bird’s assessment. Kenduywa enjoyed herself, stating, “The Halloween party was epic, thanks to the planners who did a great job planning the entire event! – I think I danced the whole night. The ride back on the party bus was the highlight, with everyone singing to hits from the 60s. My favorite was ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond.”
The party bus was also a memorable experience for Sylvia Imbrock, MBA student from Tieton, Washington. Dressed as a skeleton, Imbrock was very excited:
“I didn’t even realize it until about 2:00 PM, Friday, when I was trying to accomplish tasks and couldn’t focus on anything. The party bus was my first glimpse of everyone for the night – a noisy, cheerful start to the evening. On the way there, my bus only had radio music for some reason, but that didn’t stop us from dancing. Big Bird, Ben Hur, and a missionary all danced on the bus pole. What more could you ask for? Oh, maybe drinks? We also had drinks.”
Creative costumes abounded, with Valentin Bayard, ESSEC exchange student from Paris, France, dressed as a cocktail waiter. Bayard had not celebrated Halloween in quite some time, but had a good time, nevertheless:
“Halloween is a kids’ thing in France and it has been over ten years since I have celebrated it, but I won’t say no to some more partying. – [The event] was a good value and had good ambiance. – And the costume thing was fun too. It started with Sylvia [Imbrock] telling me that my moustache made me look like a sommelier, which was the original goal of my costume, but I figured carrying a wine bottle around all night would be a hassle. I wanted to avoid buying an expensive pre-made costume and decided that I would prove that I could do something okay without spending a lot. I ended up spending $70 at Walmart for costume pants, a bowtie, a pizza plate (which was my tray), a corkscrew, and a pack of aprons. – The good part of this costume is that I was able to dodge the line to go outside by moving to the door in a resolute manner and having the bouncer think I was working there. It did work.”
For some, the evening ended at the rooftop venue while others headed to various after-parties. Reviews from T-Birds in attendance were positive. It likely was a memorable Halloween for most, whether it was a first or simply one of many. Either way, sometimes it is good to get out of Glendale, even if it’s just for the night.