It was University President Steven Knapp’s first bonfire outdoors, as the event was moved to the Marvin Center for the last 4 years due to wind or rain.
“This celebration embodies what George Washington imagined when he envisioned a university,” Knapp said.
The event featured a cherry pie-eating contest, a performance by the Colonial Brass ensemble and s’mores cooked over a bonfire.
The first 200 guests received vouchers for free cupcakes designed in honor of George Washington’s birthday by alumnus Warren Brown’s CakeLove bakery.
Last year’s Miss GW – Eden Sutley, a senior – joined Student Association Executive Vice President Rob Maxim to kick off GW’s annual Homecoming Hoopla.
The two announced this year’s finalists for the annual homecoming contest: Sophomores Aly Azhar and DJ Sigworth, juniors Cecilia Matrone and Courtnay Oddman and seniors Matt Carlson and Mia Sorkin.
“[The competition] exemplifies what it means to be a Colonial,” Maxim said.
The winners will be announced Feb. 26 at GW’s homecoming basketball game against Temple University.
GW mascot Big George was also present at the event – and tripped during Knapp’s address.
“Didn’t mean to knock you over, general,” Knapp said.
In the annual cherry pie-eating contest, eight students competed to eat the most pie while Big George cheered in the background.
The contest’s winner, Peter Bott, said he had subbed in for a friend 5 minutes before the start of the competition. He ate an entire pie in approximately 3 minutes.
“I feel like Rocky, I just came back from supper so I was not expecting this,” Bott, a freshman majoring in international affairs, said.