Sweet swag and soulful music lured some 3,000 people into the streets for CU Denver’s annual Block Party on Aug. 23, with everyone from first-year students to university top brass eating, dancing and competing for the coveted black-and-gold booty highlighting the spirited event.
For three hours, people from across CU and the city milled through the 40-plus educational and interactive booths and assortment of food trucks that transformed the 13th block of Lawrence Street into a festive maze.
Music from local bands Violet’s Gun and The Burroughs filled the often-blustery air, and 20-foot, inflatable Milo the Lynx made his Block Party debut, beckoning students and passersby to the free and open event from his corner on Speer Boulevard.
In its seventh year, the annual bash focuses on fun while educating party-goers on the wealth of resources and possibilities
the state’s only public urban research university provides.
Why they like it
“It’s a community-building event,” said Sandy Mondragon, PhD, assistant dean in the School of Education & Human Development. “You get to see people you don’t get to see all the time,” she said as she sat at a table of students, faculty and staff enjoying mounds of nachos and other local restaurant fare.
“There are lots of cool prizes, and you learn a lot,” said pre-nursing student Kimberly Lungren, whose boyfriend had just scored some serious swag (stylish CU Denver socks) with a dead-on archery shot. “I’m going to put them on right now,” said pre-med student Tristan Trantham.
While dancing in the street, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Raul Cardenas, PhD, proclaimed the Block Party his “favorite event.” Noting the large crowd entertained by everything from juggling stilt-walkers to living bronze statues, Cardenas said: “It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
For Chancellor Dorothy Horrell, the event’s allure comes largely from talking to students and showcasing CU Denver’s vibrant location. Glancing skyward toward a giant “CU” skirting the top of a nearby building, Horrell said: “Just being able to look up and see we are right here, in the heart of the city, is just tremendous.”