By Megan Loock
Elm Staff Writer
Dining Services hosted their first campus Food Festival since the pandemic in the Dining Hall on Sept. 24. The name of the official event was Joy-FUL Food Festi-FUL.
They served food commonly eaten at food festivals such as street tacos, Mexican rice, nachos ice cream, popcorn, and cotton candy.
The event is part of a series called Joyful. Joyful is encouraged by Chartwells — the company that employs Assistant Director of Dining Services Kayla Young, Director of Services Prince Johnson, and Executive Chef Kevin Brantley.
Food Festi-FUL is a normal event on campus that is usually held outdoors, but due to the current labor shortage at Washington College, the event was held inside.
“If we were fully staffed, let’s say next semester, then I would say absolutely,” Young said about holding the event outside.
Nevertheless, Young said that her team strived to make an event “fun for everybody.”
The Dining Hall was decorated with balloons and streamers while Dining Hall employee Gregory Edwin Cruz Jr. — known to the WC campus as DJ Buck Nasty — played music.
In addition to the food being served, there was a caricature artist available for students to get a free cartoon drawn of them, as well as two giveaways occurring.
One of the giveaways encouraged students to post a picture on social media tagging the Chartwells social media as well as the WC Dining Hall’s social media with the hashtag #festifulvibes.
Senior Michael Nichols won the competition, posting a masked picture with the school’s mascot Gus the Goose.
The second giveaway required students to guess how much candy was in the jar on display. Senior Camilla Villamayor won with a guess of 243 candies in the jar with 296 being the answer. She, along with Nichols, received a pair of Apple Airpods as their prize.
“It’s awesome,” Nichols said. “I’m an Android user, so I feel a bit like a poser, but it’s cool to win something. I don’t usually win competitions like this, so it was a great surprise.”
Others found the event rewarding in a more sentimental way.
“Overall, I love the fact that y’all are all back and I love the fact I get to interact with y’all again,” DJ Buck Nasty said. “It keeps a smile on my face, and it keeps me young.”
DJ Buck Nasty worked at WC at the omelet station through the pandemic but was not able to do his “gigs” due to the virtual format of the 2020-2021 academic year. He is very excited to do them this year now that everyone is back together on campus.
“I love y’all to death for hyping me up,” he said. “Y’all keep me around, that’s where I enjoy the support from y’all.”
Dining Services plans on having events like these once per semester. But, for now, students are enjoying the ability to interact with one another in person again. “It’s honestly breathtaking that campus can be this way again,” Nichols said. “Thanks to everyone’s hard work we can see each other, hug each other, and enjoy each other much beyond the Zoom experience. Every second spent in front of a screen was leading up to these moments we live today, and all the people and experiences were totally worth it.”
Photos by Izze Rios