OGDEN -- Weber State's Spirit Squad warmed up the crowd for head basketball coach Randy Rahe Friday at Weber State's annual Wildcat Block Party.
"Ain't nothin' better than the start of school," Rahe said, before recalling recent sports victories and asking assembled students and staff to support WSU teams again this school year.
Several thousand students, along with school faculty and staff and members of the general public, turned out for the Weber State Block Party, which stretched from the Bell Tower Plaza to the south side of the Shepherd Union Building. The crowd was a churning sea of Weber purple, worn by many who attended.
And a large number of attendees had purple inside, too, since the day started with a free purple pancake breakfast. The meal was served by school representatives, including President F. Ann Millner.
"I guess they're OK," said Devin Danielian, 18 and a freshman, after sampling his tinted flapjacks. "They taste like regular pancakes."
Booths offered those in attendance information, candy and samples. Purple bags, handed out by Weber State's technology department, quickly filled up with sample doughnut holes from Krispy Kreme, coupons from other restaurant booths, candy and snacks, brightly colored pencil erasers, pamphlets from local agencies seeking volunteers, pens from the residence hall booths, datebooks, notebooks and other colorful giveaways.
At a Wildcat Tech booth, students bobbed for apples, and those who were successful had their names entered in a drawing for an Apple iPad. Each student wore a camera on a headband, and Wildcat Tech plans to make a video and post it on a social media site.
Andrew Gardiner, student body president, said he was excited to see the size of the crowd.
"This is a great catalyst for students at the beginning of the school year," he said of the Block Party. "Students can get all the information they need here, and they can prepare themselves to have a great experience at Weber State. There is an amazing energy here today.
"I hope the energy will continue, not just at the block party, but in the organizations and even in the community. I believe in Weber State, and I know this is going to be an amazing year."