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Penn State Harrisburg draws in community with We Are Weekend events

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/1/19

Nittany Lion spirit was out in full force as more than a thousand people gathered at Penn State Harrisburg for We Are Weekend.

“We were very pleased with the success of our first We Are …

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Penn State Harrisburg draws in community with We Are Weekend events

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Nittany Lion spirit was out in full force as more than a thousand people gathered at Penn State Harrisburg for We Are Weekend.

“We were very pleased with the success of our first We Are Weekend, featuring Nittany Neighborhood,” said Yvonne Harhigh, director of marketing and communications at Penn State Harrisburg.

We Are Weekend was a three-day event held Sept. 27-29 showcasing the campus through a number of festivities such as a tailgate party to watch the Penn State vs. Maryland football game Friday night (a rousing 59-0 PSU win) and a community fair on Saturday.

Penn State Harrisburg was building on We Are Weekend, which is a recent alumni-focused event, to welcome the Middletown community to the campus.

This particular event was called Nittany Neighborhood, which had activities all day Saturday, kicking off with a sports clinic led by Penn State Harrisburg coaches and student-athletes for kids who play basketball, volleyball and tennis.

But at 1 p.m., the fun really started rolling. Blow-up bounce houses and obstacle courses were set up in the lawn near the Student Enrichment Center. Booths lined the sidewalk where visitors could try calligraphy, paint pumpkins and even make a slushie while riding a bicycle.

Youngster William Coffman and his sister, Sarah, tried to knock over bottles with sacks.

“It’s a lot of fun,” William said.

His mother, Melissa, said they decided to come out to the event because their father works at Penn State Harrisburg.

“Future Penn Staters,” she said.

For other people, the event was an opportunity to visit loved ones who are current students at the university or revisit their alma mater.

That included Andy Keiser, of Lancaster, who was watching his 5-year-old daughter, Julia, play cornhole. Her half brother is a student, he said.

“We’re out here to support him and the school,” he said.

Alumna Jessica Gingerich came to Penn State Harrisburg from Hershey.

“I thought it was cool that they were having the event. It’s been awesome,” she said.

People gathered outside of the Olmsted Building to watch students who are global ambassadors perform traditional dances and recite poetry. After, Chancellor John Mason Jr. held an ice cream social, and there was a showing of “Aladdin” later in the evening.