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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Five hours of free fun

Students from Philadelphia schools crowd Dilworth Park for CollegeFest (photo by James McCloskey, Jr. ’20).

St. Joe’s students attend CollegeFest Philly

The 2017 Campus Philly CollegeFest, held on Sept. 9, gathered hundreds of college students together for a day of fun in Center City Philadelphia. Each year, Campus Philly, a non-profit organization, organizes “the best five hours in Philly” as stated on the Campus Philly home page.

Through the five hours of CollegeFest, all college students with a valid student ID gain free admission to participating museums including the Franklin Institute, the Eastern State Penitentiary, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Constitution Center and several other sites of interest.

The overall atmosphere of CollegeFest was full of excitement and energy from the moment students stepped onto the Concourse at Dilworth Park. Nicole Kedzierski ’21, came to CollegeFest because she had never been to Center City and wanted to experience the city.

“I heard that the Franklin Institute was very educational and interactive, so I wanted to visit,” Kedzierski said.

The Franklin Institute is one of the festival’s largest attractions. It is located on 20th Street in Philadelphia, and typically costs $20 for college students.

Kedzierski said that she spent time in the Giant Heart exhibit, which features a structure shaped like a heart in which visitors can tour and follow the path the blood takes as it moves.

Kathleen Murray ’21, who was also visiting Center City for the first time, was excited to be able to see many attractions for free. She was most eager to visit the Franklin Institute because she has heard a lot about it.

“The Franklin Institute has a lot of activities to do like the Sports exhibit, which was my favorite,” Murray said.

The SportsZone strives to provide an educational-based approach to athletics including cycling, track and field, football and basketball. The exhibit uses a hands-on approach to teach visitors about the way the body moves during physical activity.

Along with the Franklin Institute, Murray also visited the Eastern State Penitentiary. She was excited to go to the former prison because she has heard how scary it is during the Halloween season, but wanted to see it during the day.

“My favorite part of the Eastern State Penitentiary was seeing Al Capone’s cell,” Murray said. “Because it was interesting to see the special treatment he received while in prison because he was a famous, well-known gangster.”

Al “Scarface” Capone was one of the Eastern State Penitentiary’s most infamous inmates. Although he was a prisoner, he was treated differently than the average inmate, as visible by his cell which has a rug, a desk, a lamp, bedding and a reading chair.

Takiera Fowlkes ’20, attended CollegeFest for the second year in a row. This time, Fowlkes was joined by two of her friends and chose to visit the Philadelpia Art Museum because she wanted to show her friends a museum that they had never seen.

“My favorite exhibit is the Asian Art exhibit,” Fowlkes said, “because it allowed me to experience a different culture.”

While most students walked throughout the festival, Kedzierski, Murray, Fowlkes and hundreds of other attendees also had the option to ride the PHLASH, a looped bus which rides throughout Philadelphia each day. Typically, a ride on the PHLASH would cost $2, but students attending the festival were able to ride for free.

Along with free admission to museums and historical sites throughout the City of Brotherly Love, CollegeFest also offers students free swag from a variety of organizations and companies including Monster, GoPuff, IKEA and L.L. Bean.

The festival provided college students throughout the Philadelphia area an opportunity to escape their studies and extracurricular activities for five hours of fun in Center City. The weather was beautiful, the museums were fun and interactive and the giveaways were occurring around each corner. In its many years, CollegeFest has become a tradition of fun and excitement for college students in Philadelphia.

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