Join a club, ride a mechanical bull

Spinnaker

Put on your cowboy hat and spurs, dig out those chaps you told your friends you got rid of, and giddy-up on over to the UNF Amphitheater Sept. 23 for the Wild West Club Fest.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., students can check out over 100 club tables, in conjunction with a mechanical bull, free barbecue, a bounce house and gladiator jousting, all provided by the Club Alliance.

Making its 15th annual run, Club Fest has gotten a sprucing up, with a centralized theme: the Wild West. In previous years it was named simply Club Fest 2009, Club Fest 2008, etc.

“A theme really sparks student interest and gives them specific events to look forward to,” said Alex Read, a UNF economics senior and UNF Club Alliance president.

Not only is the Club Alliance bringing wild, western entertainment, members of the clubs that participate are providing activities, brochures, stickers and much more to represent their organization and raise student interest.

The Society of Automotive Engineers are bringing two cars, and the Equestrian Club is bringing a horse.

“We wanted to be a little flashy,” said Justin Tussey, a UNF mechanical engineering senior and president of the automotive engineers club.

The club will be showcasing a race car borrowed from Brumos Porsche on Atlantic Boulevard and a gasifier truck, which methane gas powers; a furnace in the bed of the truck produces the gas.

Anna Kirkpatrick, a UNF psychology sophomore, is the president of the Equestrian Club.

“We were kidding around, and the assistant director said, ‘Let’s go all out, even bring a horse,’ and I took him seriously,” she said.

The horse, Zappa, will be chilling out while club members sell carrots for $1, which students can then feed him.

The Wild West Club Fest is not only jam-packed with entertainment and activities for students to participate in, but there will be constant musical action throughout, including live performances by Saltwater Grass and The John Earl Band. Osprey Radio will also play tunes for a portion of the fest.

Student Government, who originally budgeted about $5,500 for the fest, will sponsor the event. But Read said the budget is never enough, and they had to ask for an additional $7,800, for a grand total of over $13,000.

“We just want students to realize the vast variety of clubs we have to offer,” Read said. “There really is something for everyone.”