Students gather for Fount-astic Festival and receive surprise

Hundreds of Catamounts gathered around the Cata-fount, on March 26, in anticipation of its water for the first time since the fall semester. The event, called “Fount-astic Festival” kicks off the new tradition of “Firing up the Cata-fount”, and coincides with Chancellor David O. Belcher’s installation week.

Students started gathering at the Central Plaza around 11 a.m. and listened to the Catamount Singers and Electric Soul perform songs such as “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and “Conga” by Gloria Estefan.

“This is really good, and a nice change of pace,” said freshman Meghan Galvin speaking about the performances by the Catamount Singers and Electric Soul.

Sophomore Evan Londo agreed with Galvin. “This is a nice thing to do before classes, just kind of hanging out,” said Londo.

The “Fount-astic Festival” comes to a close as a flash mob gathers around the Catafount, as it is turned on for the first time since Fall. Photo by: Jean-Marie Jonell

Galvin and friend Becca Kilburg were enjoying themselves in the crowd.

“I’m excited for the fountain coming back on!” said Galvin, enthusiastically. Kilburg added that the crowd had a “very high energy.”

Kat Sumeracki, a student and member of TV62, was at the festival recording for the station. “It’s good to see people come out,” said Sumeracki. “It’s a good way to get everything started and it’s getting people interested.”

Chancellor Belcher and his wife Susan were seen greeting students, as well as signing the petition to install a guardrail on Speedwell Road, where the Catamount family lost a member on Sunday.

At 12:15 p.m., Catamounts got a surprise when a flash-mob broke out starting with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.  Students, faculty and staff with purple tie-dyed shirts with the words “Fire It Up” on the front and “Flash Mob” with a large “12”  printed on their backs, joined in the central plaza in coordinated dance moves.

Chancellor Belcher and Student Government Association president T.J. Eaves joined in with the flash mob, which continued on for about five minutes.

The participants in the flash mob then circled around the Cata-fount as it fired on for the first time since fall. The crowd of students, faculty and staff were seen smiling and enjoying the performance.

Galvin commented on Belcher’s presence at the flash mob.

“He’s pretty cool, and I’m pretty much pleased with him so far,” said Galvin.

The “Fount-astic Festival” was the first event of the week to kick off Chancellor Belcher’s official installation into the university. For more event information on Chancellor Belcher’s installation week, visit the official website here.

Max Maier contributed to this story. Salomon Sierra and Nick Randone did the video story.