Planning UI’s warmest welcome — Palousafest welcomes students new and old, becoming part of UI tradition

When Trista Goodenough was hired as the student summer coordinator for the University of Idaho’s Department of Student Involvement back in April, she was welcomed with a large task and an even larger binder.

In that binder was years worth of notes, plans and contact information all for one of the university’s biggest events of the year — Palousafest.

“Palousafest is basically the biggest kick-off event UI provides,” Goodenough said. “It helps students, new and old, get back into the swing of things just before classes begin.”

Goodenough said the event, which takes place the weekend before fall semester classes begin on Aug. 19, usually brings in about 3,000 to 4,000 attendees. Palousafest, which has become a combination of a street fair and concert, is open to all students and community members, and is completely free.

The yearly event has been greeting new and old students for nearly 20 years by showcasing UI clubs, living groups and educational organizations. From 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., attendees can visit with organizations and engage in games and other activities. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a concert series will take place, featuring three to four local bands.

“Right now we are looking at some really great local bands for our entertainment portion,” Goodenough said. “Our goal is to create a community feel with the music.”

All of the organization

“It’s a long process that is slowly worked through all summer,” Goodenough said. “I began in early May, but this event is something that takes a lot of time to prepare for.”

Goodenough said Palousafest is utilized as the last summer bash of the year, and as such will have a summery theme of pizza, pineapples and donuts — some of the things she said college students love most.

For the past several years, Goodenough said so many organizations sign up to be at the event that the event’s wait list is sizeable as well.

With all the work that goes into planning Palousafest throughout the summer, as well as planning other events during the three-month stretch, Goodenough said it will all be worth it once Aug. 19 arrives arrives, and she can begin putting her plans into action.

“This is the funnest way to welcome everyone,” Goodenough said. “So, hopefully it goes off without a hitch.”

Katie Dahlinger, the assistant director of Student Involvement, acts as the supervisor to Goodenough’s position and students have always been at the head of the event planning for as long as she can remember.

“Palousafest is an iteration of about 20 years in the making, so why not have an event aimed at students run by students,” Dahlinger said.

Goodenough said because of the student feel, Palousafest is something that many students return to Moscow looking forward to.

“This event is really ingrained into our social schedule,” Goodenough said. “It has become part of our campus fabric and we couldn’t be more thankful for that.”

Hailey Stewart can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter at @Hailey_ann97


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