Wizards, witches, Wildcats, oh my!
CAB prepares for ‘magical’ weekend
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 02:10
This year, current Wildcats and alumni alike will celebrate the University of New Hampshire’s Homecoming 2013 with a Harry Potter theme. Planning for the “Wizarding World of Wildcats” started a while back, but plans were kick-started by an idea supplied by the Co-Chair of the Campus Activities Board (CAB) Homecoming Committee’s, Taylor Hodgdon’s, girlfriend.
“It was actually Taylor’s girlfriend who came up with the theme,” Emily Kwesell, another co-chair on the CAB homecoming committee, said.
To go along with this year’s theme, CAB incorporated Harry Potter-themed elements throughout the university leading up to homecoming weekend. Students may have already heard the enchanting bells of Thompson Hall (which go off every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.) playing “Hedwig’s Theme,” the Harry Potter-themed music playing in the dining halls or little things such as the owl-shaped cupcakes in Holloway Commons. All of these things are the product of countless hours of hard work put in by Kwesell, Hodgon and the rest of CAB.
After all, none of this just happened with the wave of one of Ollivander’s magical wands. Collectively, CAB has spent over 300 hours planning and putting this year’s homecoming together. Through the organization’s hard work and the guidance of Kwesell and Hodgdon, the “Wizarding World of Wildcats” has come together seamlessly.
Just a week after last year’s homecoming, CAB held an event debriefing; this is when the planning process began for this year’s homecoming event.
“In the debriefing, we basically go over what we liked about homecoming on our part, what we didn’t like and ways to get more people,” Kwesell said.
After the debriefing, there was a long period before any further planning took place. This pause went well into the summer, but around June, Kwesell and Hodgdon picked up where they had left off back in October of 2012.
“Over the summer is when we select a theme,” Hodgdon said.
This year’s theme was decided through many emails and Facebook messages, until the concept of “The Wizarding World of Wildcats” magically appeared, thanks to Hodgdon’s girlfriend, Kristi Leclerc.
However, according to Hodgdon, the real planning for this year’s homecoming started around the first week of the academic year. During that week, CAB’s homecoming committee had its first official meeting of the year.
“At this meeting, we told them what this year’s theme was,” Kwesell said. “It’s like a giant brainstorm. People had a lot of great ideas for what we could do with this theme.”
Hodgdon claimed that it is during the first few weeks of school that the major details for homecoming, such as the planning of the parade, are brought forth and put into action.
“We’ve been planning the parade almost since the beginning of school,” Hodgdon said.
During those weeks, CAB worked faithfully in trying to create a top-notch homecoming. Efforts included things like designing CAB’s float in the parade, acquiring necessary permits and much more. The two homecoming chairs worked hard to include the town of Durham in celebrating homecoming as well.
“We got the woman who owns the candy shop on Main Street to bring candy to Boulder Field and treat it like ‘Honey Dukes’ from Harry Potter,” Kwesell said.
CAB worked hard to include other outside businesses as well, such as Aroma Joe’s with its pumpkin flavored coffee and L.L. Bean with its boot float.
“Right away, during this time, we basically are contacting outside businesses to give them time to prepare,” Kwesell said.
After all of the sweat and endless hours of planning on the part of CAB members, it was important that word of homecoming events reached the ears of the entire Wildcat community. In order to do this, CAB needed to be creative and start advertising right away.
“We started advertising for homecoming at the first outdoor movie with preview posters,” Kwesell said. CAB also created a special movie trailer on YouTube to advertise the weekend’s festivities.
Earlier this week, students may have also received their special formal invitations to homecoming. Kwesell and Hodgdon decided to advertise homecoming and keep up with this year’s theme by sending out Hogwarts invites to all of the residence halls.
“It was like all the students getting handwritten letters to homecoming, just like in Harry Potter,” Kwesell said.