HoyaPalooza, a university-sponsored pep rally and cookout, will kick off the fall sports season tonight on the Leavey Esplanade from 5-8 p.m.

The event’s organizers, Hoya Blue, the Corp, the FRIENDS Initiative, GUSA and the Georgetown Athletic Department, hope to rally Georgetown sports fans on the eve of the opening football game, tomorrow against Colgate.

“We started developing this event after being approached by a number of fall sports coaches asking Hoya Blue to step up our efforts to increase interest in and attendance at fall sporting events,” HoyaPalooza chair John Antonelli (MSB ’04) said.

The event will include a beer garden available for the 21-and-above crowd and over three hours of live music from student bands and the GU Pep Band.

The admission charge of $3 will cover all food and soft drinks, while beers will be sold for $2 each.

“We quickly discarded the option of a basic pep rally, thinking that a much larger event would be necessary to generate the level of excitement we were looking for. We eventually settled on HoyaPalooza, an event that pulls together elements of a pep rally, a concert and a major barbeque.”

Between acts, special guests will include coaches from fall sports teams and an appearance by Jack the Bulldog, the youngest of Georgetown’s sports fanatics.

Antonelli admits that HoyaPalooza may remind some of Charity Block Party, a neighborhood party with alcohol and music whose entry funds went to charity. Organizers discontinued the semi-annual event amid neighborhood in 2000. opposition because of the drinking and behavior concerns. But HoyaPalooza is a much more focused event, representatives say.

“Block Party was little more than a major party held for the sake of having a major party. HoyaPalooza has legitimate goals beyond just providing students a good time,” Antonelli said. “While providing a good time is clearly a priority, we have placed a serious emphasis on sports promotion and community building.”

GUSA President Brian Morgenstern (COL ’05), one of the events’ organizers, added that HoyaPalooza will serve as a test run for a possible “everything included” homecoming event and that it will also serve to promote school spirit and the FRIENDS Initiative’s goal of responsible drinking.

“This event is positive that students and administrators can work together to ensure the safe and responsible inclusion of alcohol in student programming,” Antonelli said.

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