Music, dancing and food filled the Piazza dei Santi on Friday as students flocked to the Wing and DJ Night to celebrate the end of the first week of school.
By 9:30 p.m., the Piazza was filled with students tearing up the cobblestone dance floor with moves varying from swing dance to the Cupid Shuffle. Circles of onlookers formed to cheer for friends showing off their best moves. Even some of the quietest partiers swarmed to the dance floor when favorite throwback tunes or recent hits blasted from the speakers.
Though the students owned the dance floor, a few faculty members attended the event as well. An atmosphere of community permeated the night as attendees made new friends and laughed with old ones.
Even for those not dancing, the fun was plentiful. The smell of campfire smoke drifted through the crowd, and students sat and laughed around brightly burning fires. Friends roasted marshmallows together while the music kept the night lively. Micah Eby, a freshman, said, “The s’mores are the best part.”
The s’mores weren’t the only delicious part of the party. Attendees filled their plates from a full nacho bar and snacked on Rice Krispy treats and animal crackers.
Free university merchandise was even thrown into the dancers’ midst at one point. A few lucky students snagged Franciscan-themed washcloths, which proudly displayed in green the words “Barons” and “Franciscan University,” as event personnel tossed the cloths into the crowd.
“This party’s actually one of the best parties I’ve been to in a long time,” said freshman Ben Hooper.
Partiers and friends lingered in the piazza long after the event ended at 11:00 p.m., some staying until nearly one in the morning. As Haleigh Dickerson, a junior, said, “This party slaps.”