Niagara University held its seventh annual Ridgefest April 19-22 to celebrate as a community the end of another successful academic year on Monteagle Ridge. Sponsored by over a dozen student organizations, Ridgefest featured a week of activities for students to ring in the end of the year.

On Wednesday, April 19, Niagara University held its Earth Day celebration. An Eco Fair took place in the lower level of Gallagher Center, where students learned ways to “be green.” The fair was sponsored by NU’s sustainability committee and NU Goes Green club.

Later in the day, students were given a free workshop by Amber Galloway Gallego, a YouTube sensation who brought American Sign Language music interpretation into the mainstream. Sponsors of the event were the university’s ASL and Deaf studies program and ASL club.

That same night, “Awesome People Saying Awesome Things,” sponsored by NU Alliance, took place shortly after dinner in the Golisano Center. The event included students performing pieces on their own or other people’s experiences in and around the LGBTQIA community.

At 8 p.m., monkey business started taking place in Dunleavy Hall, as approximately 100 students got to meet Carmen Presti and the live primates he cares for.

Thursday included noon tunes with senior Dominic Hannon and free Chilly Billy ice cream. Students participated in the TKE and NU challenges to win a variety of prizes. The Muslim Student Alliance of Niagara then hosted a Henna Night to a packed house in the Gallagher Center’s Multi-Purpose Room.

A climate change discussion, sponsored by NU Goes Green and the political science department, led into the popular “Escape from Golisano,” which required teams of students to complete activities to escape from the state-of-the-art science facility. Twenty teams, comprised of more than 100 students, competed in the event, which was sponsored by NU’s Circle K student organization. The night was capped off by Team Trivia in the Gallagher Center’s Multi-Purpose Room.

On Friday, students helped sort footwear in the Kiernan Center as part of the Sandal Falls Project, which distributes sandals from the Maid of the Mist to people in need. Nearly 125 students then packed into Dunleavy 127 to check out Spidey the mentalist’s awe-inspiring show.

The final day of Ridgefest got underway with the Race on the Ridge, an Amazing Race-styled competition that saw 10 teams of students race across campus to accomplish tasks. The winning team’s captain was sophomore Matthew Corapi.

A sun-soaked afternoon set the stage for Ridgefest’s final event, the RidgeFESTIVAL, in the O’Shea Quad. Well over 700 students enjoyed amusement park rides, kettle corn, a catered dinner, bounce houses and popular carnival games like “I Got It” and ring toss.

Ridgefest is coordinated by the Niagara University traditions committee, comprised of student members of the Campus Programming Board and Student Government Association, with assistance from the Office of Campus Activities.

Article by Shelby Ehrenreich, a senior studying theatre performance, with minors in communication studies and dance.  Photos by Gabrielle McIntyre, a junior communication studies major at NU.