Welcome Student Weekend set for Sept. 1 & 2

Annual celebration introduces thousands of new college students to downtown Ithaca

and presents student performance groups to the community

ITHACA, NY August 2018 — Downtown Ithaca is once again partnering with Cornell University, Ithaca College, and the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) and, new this year, will include Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) to the collaboration efforts to host the 3rd Annual Welcome Student Weekend.
This special two-day celebration, held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 and 2 (Labor Day weekend) on and around the Ithaca Commons, introduces college students to life in downtown Ithaca and provides an opportunity for student performance groups to share their musical and artistic talents with the community.
Roughly 2,500 first-time Cornell University students along with, Cornell RAs, and staff are expected to participate in CU Downtown from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. CU Downtown is organized by the Tatkon Center, a Cornell University support and resource center for first-year students, in partnership with the Cornell Office of Community Relations, the DIA, and TCAT.
Cornell’s entertainment infused day includes live performances by Cornell student groups and music entertainment at the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Some of the acts include a cappella groups The Touchtones, The Men of Last Call, After Eight A Cappella, and Tarana South Asian A Cappella, along with the vibrant and entertaining Big Red Marching Band and Pep Band performing as one. Cornell Bhangra, Big Red Raas, and Yamatai Taiko drumming will share their cultural heritage, and a local favorite the Fall Creek Brass Band will partner with some of the marching and pep band to close out the afternoon. These and more entertainers are listed on the CU Downtown event page on Facebook. All of these stellar performances are open to the public to view and enjoy.
Students will also be able to participate in many activities, including an Avengers-themed scavenger hunt where students will visit downtown locations to seek out superheroes and villains to collect stamps from the businesses. Top prizes will be awarded to those who complete the hunt!
Downtown shops and restaurants will be in on the fun by offering special samples, discounts, and freebies for the students who stop by. Self-guided exploration of downtown will round out the Welcome Weekend activities.
On Sunday, Sept 3, from 1 to 5 pm, an estimated 700 new Ithaca College (IC) students and roughly 100-150 new TC3 students, several residence assistants, and staff will make the trek to downtown where they will participate in similar activities.
As part of the day’s entertainment, WICB, IC’s student-operated FM radio station, will be broadcasting music from the Bernie Milton Pavilion and dynamic performances will be provided by IC groups Ithacapella, Pitch Please, Voicestream, Routine Disturbances, IC Pulse Hip Hop Team, and Premium Blend.  For the full schedule, visit our Facebook Event Page.
“Welcome Weekend is Downtown Ithaca’s way of building a stronger connection with the student population, to encourage them to frequently visit downtown and feel comfortable in this community for the next few years. Downtown offers a host of shops, restaurants, services, and entertainment for students to feel at home in Ithaca,” says Allison Graffin, Director of Marketing for Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA).
Prior to experiencing downtown’s offerings, the students will learn how to use the TCAT system, an often intimidating task for those who have never utilized public transportation in Ithaca or anywhere. This transit service shows the students how to use the buses to reach downtown destinations and familiarize them with TCAT’s new real-time bus schedules on the free MyStop mobile app, notes Graffin.
Downtown Ithaca regularly offers crowd-drawing events, and the city is home to unique boutiques, galleries, and shops, specialty stores, health care services, hair salons and barber shops, theaters, and dozens of locally-owned restaurants that serve a variety of American and ethnic foods.
As part of Welcome Student Weekend, students will get a glimpse of these types of establishments available on The Ithaca Commons, Cayuga and Green streets, Press Bay Alley & west downtown, Dewitt Mall and Aurora Street/East State.
More information about Welcome Student Weekend is available at www.downtownithaca.com or on our Facebook Events Page.