(Photographed by Photography Manager Rena Danho)
Volunteer Writer: Connor Sullivan
Despite reports of heavy rain, UMass Dartmouth held the Corsair Tailgate next to Cressy Field last Saturday, October 7th, offering an afternoon of fun and community for students, faculty, and alumni alike.
The event was intended as a finale for Blue & Gold Weekend and a chance to hype up the football match between the Corsairs and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. It was hosted from 3 PM to 7 PM between Cressy Field and the softball field. Tickets were sold online for $10 and were $15 at the door.
It was advertised as featuring “food, games, and activities for all!” specifically mentioning that “beer and sangria will be available for purchase.” The event would also feature live music from the cover band “Get Lucky.”
Blue & Gold Weekend is an annual feature for UMass Dartmouth. It’s been hosted each October since 2021 and is advertised as “a weekend of Corsair pride!”
Kate Holbrook, Administrative Assistant for “constituent engagement and annual giving” who was responsible for organizing all the events, described it as “the biggest weekend of the year for school spirit.”
It typically features several significant events scheduled late in the week, where students and alumni can catch up and discuss life on and off campus. They also give students a chance to have fun and relax before the stressful midterm period.
Some of the events offered this year included Wednesday’s Senior Shift, the Alumni-Student Leadership Luncheon, and the Annual Corsair Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday.
Saturday was to be the biggest day for Blue & Gold as it included the two largest events: The Blue & Gold Festival and The Corsair Tailgate. Unfortunately, as Kate describes, reports came in earlier that week stating that Saturday would receive 1-2 inches of rain and wind gusts of up to 23 mph.
Because of the rain, they were required to cancel the Blue & Gold Festival.
Kate was disappointed, stating, “It took about 3-6 months to plan, so it wasn’t easy for me to let that go.” None of the other events were canceled.
They were able to save the Corsair Tailgate as they already had a tent that could shield its smaller area from the rain. The rainy situation left the tailgate as the main event for this Blue & Gold weekend.
Despite the circumstances, it served this role well. There were two tents, one covering the band and the food tables, while the other covered the games and seating overlooking Cressy Field. The tents ensured that everyone was protected from the rain, which was heaviest around 3:20 PM and was never more than a light drizzle afterward.
The venue provided an excellent view of the field. Combined with the additional tent and the seating arranged beneath it, guests could comfortably watch the game while enjoying their food.
There was a variety of food and drinks available.
At first, they served several types of sandwiches, including Italian, turkey, and vegetable, along with chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and vanilla cupcakes. Later, they offered sausages and slices of cake.
Beer and sangria were readily available for purchase in addition to free Pepsi, Brisk iced tea, and water.
Along with watching the match, the seating tent offered guests several other games and activities to enjoy.
There were many people partaking in rounds of corn hole and Jenga.
Others enjoyed the talents of the two artists hired for the event: Jena, who hosted the “Hype House” corner where people could have their face painted while decorating themselves with blue and gold accessories, and Vickey, a caricature artist who drew anyone upon request.
Meanwhile, the other tent was filled with the music of Get Lucky. The cover band kept up the energy for the whole event, supplying vibrant covers of various popular songs.
Many of them were famous rock songs from the 70’s and 80’s, including “Working for the Weekend” and “Jessie’s Girl.” However, they also included pop songs from other eras and genres, such as “About Damn Time” and “Juicy.”
All these songs were played at a volume that vibrated through your chest.
The event was filled with an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere. Everyone, from students, alumni, faculty, and even staff, was having a great time.
Students Mike Mania and Kevin Johnston, both members of the ice hockey team, expressed how they come each year to catch up with friends.
“It’s good to see old people,” said Kevin, “Teammates and friends who’ve graduated.”
Mike added that they “usually stick around for the whole thing, then we all get together after.”
Two other students, Kate Hockenberry and Gena Muller, shared this enthusiasm. Kate similarly appreciated the chance to catch up with graduated members of her clubs and sorority.
“Especially being a senior, now I know a lot of people in the upper class who’ve just left, so it’s good to see them back,” she explained.
They were both disappointed with the weather and the festival’s cancellation, with Gena specifying that losing the waffle food truck offered the previous year “hurt me in my heart.”
Still, they thought the event turned out well.
Things began dying down around 6:40 PM. By then, the game was over, fans started leaving, and staff cleared off tables. By 7 PM, with the bleachers empty and misty rain falling outside the tent, Get Lucky remained the last event still going.
At about 7:05 PM, they announced to the thin but enthusiastic crowd of less than a dozen dancers that they “had one left in them.” They finished the night off with an exhilarating performance of “What Is Love.”
The audience cheered on the ending flourish, and frontman Jeff Cabral concluded with, “Thank you all. But we really, really, really need to go now.”