College Night Out takes over Bell Tower Green – Salisbury Post

College Night Out takes over Bell Tower Green

Posted at 12:05 a.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022

SALISBURY— An evening of festivities for local college students arrived at Bell Tower Green on Thursday after a two-year break.

College Night Out has been canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although the event is usually an annual affair to accommodate students in town.

The event attracts students from Livingstone and Catawba colleges, as well as Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Hood Theological Seminary. Livingstone and Catawba even had bus service to and from their campuses for students to attend.

Local organizations lined the park’s walkways and a live DJ played throughout the evening.

The event started with comments from local authorities. The entire Salisbury City Council came to the event and spoke briefly from the park stage.

“Welcome home,” said Mayor Karen Alexander.

She was also keen to acknowledge the new teachers from Rowan-Salisbury Schools who were also invited to the event this year.

Council member Tamara Sheffield implored the crowd to “kick this school year‘s ass”.

Board member Anthony Smith greeted the students and told them he hopes they will share the love.

Rowan County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds told students they bring the “spice” to Rowan County and implored them to stay here after they graduate.

“There’s a place here in Rowan County for you,” Edds said. “There are so many jobs coming up here in Rowan County. We want you to stay, we want your intellect, and we want the spice you bring to our community.

After the remarks, the Catawba cheerleaders performed before Livingstone’s Marching Blue Thunder and the cheerleaders marched through the stadium.

Downtown Salisbury Inc. was the primary organizer of the event, although it also credits educational institutions and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. Manager, Sada Stewart Troutman, said the goal is to bring popular food and entertainment back to the event, but also provide employment opportunities that appeal to students.

“We have a lot of businesses in our downtown that are looking for part-time help and seasonal help,” said Stewart Troutman. “We thought it was a great fit for students, so we really focused on employment. Of course, as Commissioner Edds also said, we want people to stay in Salisbury. We love Rowan County, we love Salisbury, we want people to come to college here and stay here.

Stewart Troutman said the event was supported by volunteers and help from all the organizations involved.

In addition to food and entertainment, a long list of stores offered student discounts on Thursday and there was also a downtown scavenger hunt.

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