by Catherine Brewer ’20
With a suspenseful hype video posted on Facebook, Providence College’s Alumni & Family Weekend Committee announced last Thursday evening that it will host its first ever Friarcon on Friday, February 9, and it will be jam-packed with food, fun, and live entertainment. “The entire AFW Committee is so excited about this event! We encourage folks to get their tickets online as soon as possible!” exclaimed Event Production Coordinator Amanda Talbot. Friarcon is set for 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and tickets, which can also be purchased at the Slavin Information Desk with a PC ID, vary in price: alumni and parent tickets go for $15, Friars of the Last Decade (FOLD0 for $10, students for $5, and children ages 12 and under have free entry. However, if you plan to attend the men’s hockey game against the University of Maine in Schneider at 7:15 p.m., your ticket will score you free entry.
“The Committee had so many fun ideas we wanted to try out for [Alumni & Family] Weekend, and Friarcon became the perfect arena to mix athletics, fan celebration, food, music, and entertainment all in one place,” said Talbot. She explained that Friarcon was inspired by two well-known, local conventions that have attracted crowds of all ages: Rhode Island Comic Con and HasCon. Talbot added that the planning committee is made up of representatives from “the offices of College Events, Alumni Relations, Admission, Faculty, Student Affairs, Marketing and Communication, and student leaders, and alumni volunteers.”
The student performance showcase will take place on the Peterson stage and is set to run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Performers include the three PC a capella groups, Believers of Word (BOW), the Cheer Team, the Dance Club, the Dance Team, STEP, and Motherland Dance Group. Adam Hanna ’18 will also be there to close out the show. “I will be performing mostly an acoustic set accompanied by the drummer in my band,” said Hanna. “My job is basically to create good vibes for everybody in Peterson…I’m looking forward to doing that.” Aside from live music, attendees will also be able to keep an eye on the score with a Friars hockey game watch.
“Everybody is working very hard for the performance since we only have two weeks to prepare, but everyone is really excited for Friarcon,” exclaimed Hieu Nguyen ’20, an international student from Vietnam who has been a member of the Dance Club since his freshman year. “I’m excited to see everyone at the event just having fun and bonding. I’m excited for the performances of other clubs as well!”
Embracing the superhero theme, the Wonder Women of PC panel and interactive meet and greet will star the leaders of the five most prominent campus organizations: Elizabeth Jancsy ’18 of BOP, Marcie Mai ’18 of BMSA, Marla Gagne ’18 of The Cowl, Simran Madhani ’18 of Friars Club, and Phionna-Cayola Claude ’18 of Student Congress. The girl power continues with a meet and greet with the PC women of the 1998 Olympic gold medal winning women’s ice hockey team.
“Much like an ‘artists ally’ at a typical convention, we will be having members of the PC community hosting tables where they can offer fun games, giveaways, information about their club or department and more,” reveals Talbot. She explained that she is most looking forward to an interactive art exhibit by Kaelynn Maloney ’16. Attendees will have the opportunity to design a personalized, “Marvel- esque ‘Infinity cube’” and then “watch their art grow and transform.” Other activities include caricatures, face painting, and even space for the Little Friar Fanatics to hang out with current PC athletes.
Friarcon will also showcase two locally owned food trucks with bites for sale: Gastros Food Truck, which specializes in sausages and hot dogs, and Binge BBQ, a Newport-based restaurant with all of your backyard favorites. Tricycle Ice Cream, owned and operated by David Cass ’04, will have free mini ice cream sandwiches up for grabs. A cash bar will be open for 21+, and there will also be hot chocolate and popcorn bars.
“Students and parents should also come dressed in their best Friar gear for special surprises throughout the night,” advises Talbot.