Harrisonburg downtown block party held for JMU first-year students
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The block party in the ‘Burg is back.
Saturday community members, businesses, and Dukes blocked off Main Street for a JMU tradition.
“I actually transferred here in January and got hired as an orientation leader around late March, so getting the first time experience for not only me but for all my students as well it’s an amazing experience. I am so grateful that the whole JMU community gets to experience something as amazing as this,” Luke, an orientation leader at JMU said.
The block party is put on by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance in conjunction with JMU, the Harrisonburg Police department, and downtown businesses.
”The first couple of weeks at school it’s a hard adjustment,” Grace Metzger, First Year Orientation Guide at JMU said. “It’s a new place, new people, new rules, new everything.”
It is a part of JMU’s orientation welcome week to make first-year students feel a part of the Harrisonburg community.
”The local community supports JMU and its students so much there’s always different events or activities going on down here, and it’s also like a nice oasis away from campus if they’re stuck and they feel like that the only place that they know,” Metzger said.
Things kicked off on the Quad of JMU as students, their First Year Orientation Guides, and Orientation Leaders made their way downtown to the block party.
“I’m just hoping that my students get a fulfilling experience,” Luke said.
The fun started with performances by the Marching Royal Dukes, then students were free to roam and explore all downtown has to offer.
“It’s nice to get off campus that they’ve been at for a week and just see Harrisonburg and the downtown area,” Metzger said. “So much of JMU is the downtown and people don’t know that and so it’s just a nice experience to bring them down here.”
Many businesses had booths set up near their shops or had their doors open welcoming students to eat or shop around their stores.
Mayor Deanna Reed and JMU president Jonathan Alger gave remarks to the crowd and officially welcomed them to JMU and Harrisonburg.
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