UD at State Fair
Blue Hens attend State Fair, engage with Delawareans
2:26 p.m., Aug. 1, 2013--Acting on its commitment to the First State, the University of Delaware hosted a booth and sent several representatives to the Delaware State Fair, which was held from July 18-27 in Harrington.
“It’s so great to see UD [at the fair]. We had to stop by the booth and be reminded of what a great school our son is going to in the fall,” said Dawn Keyek, mother of an incoming freshman. “He made a smart choice.”
The career connection
Despite hot and humid weather conditions, the fair maintained a spirited and bustling atmosphere. The UD booth, located inside the Delaware Building, was operated by 45 different volunteers including UD staff, department representatives and the mascots YoUDee and Baby Blue, as well as George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and President Patrick Harker.
The University admissions office also sent counselors and student representatives Blue Hen Ambassadors to work at the booth daily from 4-8 p.m, a time when many prospective students stopped by to ask questions and engage representatives in the UD admissions process.
As 2,888 fair attendants visited the UD booth, volunteers and admissions representatives were on hand to discuss all that UD has to offer, distribute University information materials and other fun handouts, including coloring pages and autographed photos of YoUDee.
Guests could also participate in a raffle by taking a picture of themselves with a provided Blue Hen sticker and then sharing the image via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #StateFairUD. The raffle winner, to be selected the first week of August, will take home a large basket of UD apparel and four tickets to a Blue Hen football game.
“The basket caught the attention of everyone and was a wonderful conversation starter. We had entire families take their pictures with the sticker and basket to enter the conversation,” said Robert Grey, booth volunteer and program manager for Delaware Center for Teacher Education. “Many, many future students and alumni stopped by to say hello and ask some general questions. I think our academic reputation speaks for itself.”
With the official UD table conveniently located next to the UDairy Creamery booth, fair attendants could sample UD’s academic opportunities while getting a taste of the premium campus ice cream. The “Moo Mobile,” UDairy Creamery’s new ice cream truck, also made its State Fair debut.
“This year at the Delaware State Fair, the creamery sold more than double the amount of ice cream than last year, which was our first year,” said Melinda Litvinas, UDairy Creamery manager. “Surprisingly, First State Cobbler and 1923 outshined our Newark top seller of Delaware River Mud Pie but the support and excitement from the Delaware community is what really made this year’s fair so successful.”
Surrounded by numerous food options, fair rides and carnival games, fair attendants were presented many options. UD’s presence allowed higher education to be one of them.
“The fact that UD came here and was so easygoing says a lot about the school,” said Kaleb Bird, a Polytech High School senior aspiring to become Blue Hen. “It was awesome to meet such great representatives and get more information.”
Article by Laura Hepp
Photos by Doug Baker