University celebrates Washington’s birthday

Hundreds of students, faculty and community members braved a chilly D.C. afternoon to participate in a cherry-pie eating contest, feast on colonial food and gather around a bonfire on the Quad Friday afternoon.

The event commemorated George Washington’s 270th birthday.

Both organizers and students at the fourth-annual celebration said they were disappointed with the turnout.

Event planners attributed the lack of attendance to a busy February events schedule and the event’s short history at GW.

Graduate student Kenny Nguyen said she enjoyed the tri-cornered hats handed out for the occasion but was disappointed with a low turnout.

Organizers let four winners of a pie-eating contest help light a bonfire in the center of the Quad.

In past years, University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg arrived with colonial marching band to light the bonfire, Orin said. Trachtenberg arrived an hour late, citing a meeting as the reason he could not make it in time for the lighting.

Students said they did not see posters advertising the event and only heard about it from friends.

Freshman Moriah Amit said she hoped there will be more entertainment and events at future celebrations and said she was not pleased with the food.

SA President Roger Kapoor said he was “happy to have (members of the GW community) all gathered together in the spirit of George Washington.”

Trachtenberg said he was surprised that more people did not attend the two-hour event. He recommended the addition of more events and activities.

Many community members also attended the event described by Desi Balla, wife of political science professor Steve Balla, as a “nice way to spend a Friday.”

GW’s secret society, the Order of the Hippo, sponsored the event along with the Office of University Events, the Student Association and the Program Board.

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