From Pipi Longstocking to a walking whoopee cushions, and even a deck of cards: the basketball arena concourse of the basketball arena, known affectionately as “the Hoop,” contained an assortment of characters Tuesday night. TTU and the surrounding community have some fantastic community events year round, but it seems like all of my favorite events take place right around this time of year. Purple Palooza is high up on my list of favorites.
As work ended Tuesday, I picked Ian up from preschool and we were off to meet up with friends for a quick dinner. This is our 3rd purple palooza, so we’ve established a bit of a tradition of a pre-palooza happy meal. This year Ian had friends his own age to share his evening with. I’m not sure if he was more excited about french fries, trick or treating, or seeing Meredith and Riley. I’m pretty sure Meredith and Riley win.
Our group headed to the Hoop together for an evening of fun. The athletics-marketing
department hosts this fun event every year, and does an amazing job of putting it on. The basic concept is this: vendors (all of our athletic programs, local businesses, university clubs and offices, etc.) set up tables around the concourse, kids walk around the concourse and stop at each table to trick-or-treat. After kids trick or treat, they enter the basketball arena floor and obtain signatures from the men and women’s basketball players, then watch the teams perform. All of this kicks off basketball season for the Golden Eagles.
My favorite parts about Purple Palooza:
- It’s warm and dry. October can have fickle weather. This year it’s supposed to rain on Halloween. Last year it snowed. The Hoop has a roof and climate control.
- It’s well-lit. There’s no stumbling around in the dark to strangers’ houses to ask for potentially suspect candy.
- It’s free. This helps all parents out at a time of year when kids are asking for money to get a pumpkin at school, or to go to a corn maze with friends.
- It has a clear path to follow, and is so well ran that it’s hard to lose your kid(s).
- It keeps kids coming to a university. This is an important one for me. I want Ian to be completely at home on college campuses so he never has any reason to question his future which involve higher education.
- It gives kids an opportunity to interact on a personal level with division 1 athletes. Talk about motivation and making goals seem obtainable.
- It gives athletes an opportunity to gain fans and support system throughout the community.
- Ian has an absolute blast and enjoys going.