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Sendoff promises a night to remember: Music, food, fun

Sendoff promises a night to remember: Music, food, fun

Del Water Gap will headline. | COURTESY OF SOCIAL BOARD

With finals drawing closer, the campus is abuzz with anticipation for the festive celebration that will kick off the last two weeks of school on a high note — Summer Sendoff. Sponsored annually by Social Board and the Office of Student Engagement (OSE), the event is a beloved tradition with various highlights to look forward to. “We will be having so many food options, games and great music, and we are so grateful we get to plan an event that brings so much joy to the student body,” Chloe Goldstein ’25, president of Social Board, wrote in an email to the Collegian.

The organizers delivered on the “great music” promise. Social Board announced last week that this year’s headliner will be Del Water Gap, an indie pop act from singer Samuel Holden Jaffe. The process of selecting the headliner was a mix of democratic decision-making and practicality: At the start of the school year, Social Board sent out a survey with five artist choices to gauge preferences. Coming out on top was singer and rapper Sean Kingston, most well-known for the hit song “Beautiful Girls,” securing 45% of the students’ votes, according to a Student Council meeting report in November. In line with the majority’s wish, Social Board reached out to Kingston’s agent, but was met with an over-budget quote. The headliner choice naturally landed on the second most-voted artist, Del Water Gap. 

Many students are, to varying degrees, familiar with Del Water Gap’s songs, and those who aren’t are getting acquainted with his discography for a more immersive Sendoff experience. “I was really excited honestly because I think I did vote for him on the form. I’ve listened to a little of his music and I’ve been listening to more of it in preparation,” Mosss Szaraz ’27 said. Juliet Hartz ’24 echoed a similar plan: “I didn’t know a lot of his songs beforehand, but he’s always on my roommate’s playlist. So I’ve been studying up [by] listening to some songs, and now some of them sound familiar.”

Three student bands will open for Del Water Gap: All Goof No Ball, Jacob Cohen and Those Rusty Strings. The bands captured the hearts and ears of Kenyon students previously, each having delivered a lively performance at the Battle of the Bands hosted in Horn Gallery last February and winning a spot in the top three. 

Sendoff will have Kenyon students bouncing not just to the music, but also on the inflatable attractions that the organizers are bringing from Supergames, a portable events company specializing in interactive games. “We really just wanted to create a fun, high-energy and more festival-like atmosphere for Sendoff,” Goldstein said. There will be the party classic Mechanical Bull, and two larger-scale games featuring groups of four to eight people competing against each other called Hungry Hippo Chow Down and Meltdown (Toxic Colors)

The food options are also on many students’ minds. In addition to food trucks with a variety of fried foods and AVI’s catering, Sendoff organizers plan to bring in some refreshing sweetness with Mini Melts ice cream and the Kona Ice trucks. If attendees are hungry after all the fun festivities of the event, that will be taken care of by a late-night empanada truck. 

Some other perks of Sendoff are also worth paying attention to. “This year, we decided to do a Sendoff week, where we will be having surprise giveaways each day leading up to the concert to get the campus more excited for the event,” Goldstein said. The daily treat streak began with the Green Vibes juice truck on Monday and free Wiggin Street Coffee drinks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Additionally, the organizers decided to go with two different colors for the Sendoff shirts this year instead of one to give students another option.

Students will be able to indulge in all these activities and more when Del Water Gap takes the stage this Friday.

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