By Dakota Drobnicki

The walkway leading to Hagg-Sauer Hall fills with attendees early on into this year’s Community Appreciation Day. Shane Neumann/The Northern Student

BEMIDJI – Turnout exceeded expectations at BSU’s 2018 Community Appreciation Day, with over 3,000 attendees filling the walkways between Hagg-Sauer Hall and the Hobson Lower Union. “I’m pretty impressed,” says primary coordinator Jana Wolff, “I would say each year we get more and more people.”

Students, staff and local families engaged with the Bemidji community throughout the 90-minute event—kids played with Bucky Beaver and representatives from the football team, student organizations enticed new recruits into their ranks, and everyone gathered around the food vendors eager to try the various samples offered.

Children dressed in BSU apparel play with Play-Doh at a small table set up near local businesses. Shane Neumann/The Northern Student

This year’s Community Appreciation Day brought forth 70 booths between local businesses and student organizations, along with 14 food and beverage sponsors providing samples and refreshments. The booth turnout is a marked improvement from 2017’s turnout of approximately 50.

BSU Career Services were eager to see the dramatic increase in turnout, as the additional business representation will offer more opportunities for enterprising students. “Employers are looking for student workers and we are there to help them fill those jobs,” states Nancy Haugen, Associate Director for Career Services.

For next year’s event, Wolff hopes to see the upward trend increase as the festivities move to a different location once Hagg-Sauer comes down. “We’ll have some new changes every year as we look to refine things and get better processes in place, we intend to grow it a little bit,” she says.  New businesses continuing to file into town should make next year’s event even bigger.

Representatives of the BSU Choir share a laugh with young members of the local community. Shane Neumann/The Northern Student

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