Second college Coulee Fest attracts a large crowd
Lethbridge College opened its campus to the community on Saturday to celebrate the new school year, with the return of Coulee Fest.
The free family event, in its second year, was a way for the college to invite back and thank the community which has supported it for more than 60 years.
“Our campus has always been here to serve all of southern Alberta as a great place to learn, work and come together,” says Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO. “Coulee Fest encapsulates the best of that community spirit. I hope that everyone, whether you have life-long ties to the college or are visiting for the first time, can join us for this incredible day.”
This year’s event featured a lineup of five bands, 13 food trucks, beer gardens, a petting zoo, bouncy castles, Kodiaks Athletics mini-games, campus tours, dunk tank, and a What the Junk vintage market with 35 vendors.
The festival brought out a huge crowd throughout the day to take in the live entertainment, spend time with family and friends, and to learn more about what the college has to offer and the direction it is heading with its recently released new brand “Be Ready.”
“We want to welcome our students to campus authentically and it is a way for us to show them our culture,” says Sydney Wakaruk, Alumni Relations coordinator and Coulee Fest organizing committee chair. “We wanted to do it bigger and better this year, and we want to show people what we offer here at the Lethbridge College, the direction we are headed, as well as the new brand this week and the ways that we are growing, expanding and innovating.”
The college spent the last year working out the kinks from the initial festival and created a day full of fun activities and community connections. Wakaruk says she is happy the way Coulee Fest turned out this year, and is very proud of the supportive committee that helped it all come together.
“It feels really great, it is really exciting to see it all come together,” says Wakaruk. “I have a committee of over 20 people who have stepped up to help me out and I really couldn’t have done it without them. It is a cross-campus collaborative initiative and that is nice to see that everyone comes together to make this day happen.”
Coulee Fest put on two fundraisers at the event, including a dunk tank which featured campus celebrities such as CEO Paula Burns, and a 50/50 draw to help support the Lethbridge College Students’ Association Food Bank, the new Borrow a Textbook initiative and student awards.
Kayla Eldridge runs into Kodi the Kodiak’s arms for a big hug at the Lethbridge College Coulee Fest, Saturday afternoon.
David Bowker, Lethbridge College Associate Dean Business, Trades & Apprenticeship, takes a cold fall in the dunk tank at the college’s Coulee Fest, Saturday afternoon.
Lottie Biggs gets excited over the farm animals in the petting zoo, at the Lethbridge College Coulee Fest, Saturday.