This year’s Crawfish Fest featured food, games, and music. The event allowed students the opportunity to wind down as well as enjoy an evening of fun on campus before they prepare to take final exams.
The annual Crawfish Fest takes places every spring before finals week. It serves as the last major event held on campus by the Southern Miss Activities Council for the school year.
SMAC is a student-run organization that develops special events specifically for Southern Miss students. SMAC holds multiple events each semester that are free for students to attend.
“It’s a long-standing USM tradition,” Nia Jenkins, the event director for the SMAC, said. “We have free crawfish, free events, free stuff for the students to do. It’s just a good end-of-the-year event.”
Along with the SMAC, the SGA Freshman Associates helped sponsor this year’s Crawfish Fest as well.
Both the crawfish and the event itself were a hit with the students. While many students have attended the event in the past, many students in every classification had not.
“The crawfish were good,” English major Emily Rasch said. “[Crawfish Fest] was good because I’m a junior and I was experiencing this for the first time.”
With the swipe of a student ID, students had access to free food including crawfish, hamburgers and hotdogs. Once a student swiped their ID, they were given a wristband. The wristbands gave students access to any of the games or inflatables as well as the food for the entire evening. The event was held on Centennial Lawn outside of the Hub. Students were able to grab their friends and a plate of crawfish and spread out on the grass to enjoy the weather and the event.
Entering the last few weeks of the semester, students have begun preparing for final exams. As one of the last major events before finals week, SMAC’s Crawfish Fest gives students the chance to take a break with their friends and classmates before they have to focus on finishing the semester and taking their final exams.
“I like how we can just come together and enjoy ourselves,” freshman nursing major Tiara Lewis said. “It’s just really nice.”
Every hour during the event, SMAC held a new competition that gave students the chance to win prizes. Volunteers could compete in different games, like a balloon toss, and ultimately win gift cards to restaurants around town. In addition to games, caricature artist Ricky Nobile also lent his talents to the event. Students could get a personalized caricature drawn for them. Another favorite among students were two inflatable obstacle courses, one of which allowed students to race their friends. A mechanical bull and a photo booth were also fun additions.
Crawfish Fest is not just reserved for Southern Miss students. Members of the Hattiesburg community were invited to attend as well.