Downtown party: Community welcomes incoming JC students with block partyJamestown was on full display Thursday evening as a throng of nearly 300 Jamestown College freshmen marched downtown to find the fourth annual Community Block Party. “It looks to me like it’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever had,” said Jamestown College President Bob Badal. “The freshmen have heard a lot about this and they’re really excited.”
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown was on full display Thursday evening as a throng of nearly 300 Jamestown College freshmen marched downtown to find the fourth annual Community Block Party.
“It looks to me like it’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever had,” said Jamestown College President Bob Badal. “The freshmen have heard a lot about this and they’re really excited.”
This year there were 85 booths from businesses, churches, social groups and more — all introducing themselves to Jamestown College freshmen.
The community showed up, too. Estimates were anywhere between 3,500 and 4,000 people at the event.
“It’s to get them off on the right foot so they’re part of the community right from the beginning,” Badal said.
College students, including upperclassmen, took to First Avenue and ate free snacks while learning about the community that they will call home for the next nine months.
“It was a fun experience and it helped us interact with the community,” said Kelly Wolbert, a freshman who found potential employment at Eventide at High Acres.
The Milaca, Minn., native also said she felt like part of the college community during the traditional walk from campus. When she got downtown, Wolbert said she felt like part of the Jamestown community.
Natasha Bosea, a JC junior in the nursing program, spent Thursday evening looking for one at the block party.
“I need to find one, that’s why I’m looking at places to work too,” Bosea said in front of the Jamestown Regional Medical Center booth.
Businesses were also looking for potential interns.
“We’re just trying to get our name out and trying to get kids a chance to apply,” said Nick Ukestad, an account manager with Eldermark, an assisted-living software company.
Stutsman County States Attorney Fritz Fremgen had double duty at the block party.
He was there looking for interns with the state’s attorney’s office, and was looking to attract some members to the Jamestown Optimist club.
“It’s good to see all these people around,” Fremgen said. “It’s fun — it’s good to get out.”
The Salvation Army was there also but had a limited presence because its trailer is currently in Minot, and the other trailer was feeding people in need here.
Lt. Mitch Brecto told college students they have volunteer opportunities at the Salvation Army, and that the Salvation Army is there in times of need.
Gary Van Zinderen, dean of students at Jamestown College, said students enjoy mingling with Jamestown during the party.
“They always rank this as one of the most enjoyable experiences they ever have,” he said.
Carrie Englin, communication coordinator with the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce said it’s showcasing what Jamestown has to offer.
“I think it’s just a great way to get the students and community members in one place for an evening,” Englin said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com