Campus Philly Kick-Off this weekend

Erica Dolson

The annual Campus Philly Kick-Off, a free, day-long event featuring music, culture and service opportunities, will take place this Saturday, closing the Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 20th and 23rd Streets.

The Kick-Off will be held in conjunction with College Day on the Parkway, another annual event that gives students free admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Constitution Center and nine other cultural and historical sites.

Over 20,000 visitors are expected at this year’s Kick-Off. The event will feature performances from Against Me!,The Ataris, and hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, along with local bands. In addition to the music, there will be an arts village and giveaways from places like Ikea and Starbucks, said Abbey Carr, a senior and Kick-Off coordinator.

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff [in Philadelphia]: restaurants, museums,” said Colleen McFadden, a senior who interns with Campus Philly. “There are different sections of the city that have a different vibe. It’s just fun to explore.”

Campus Philly is non-profit organization whose immediate goal is to create a memorable college experience for local students, McFadden said. The organization’s long-term goals are to combat brain drain and encourage students to re-locate to the Philadelphia area after graduation, she added.

When McFadden started her internship at Campus Philly in May, there was already work being done on this year’s Kick-Off.

“Everybody’s really, really excited for it because it’s been a long time in the making,” McFadden said.

McFadden believes the Kick-Off is a good chance for Villanovans to become familiar with the city, something many students do not take advantage of, she said.

“Especially for freshmen who’ve never been to Philadelphia. This is the perfect excuse to go and check it out,” McFadden said.

Sophomore Lauren Gentilcore enjoyed last year’s Kick-Off, she said. She’s from Philadelphia, but last year was the first time she ever visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“I’m from Philly, but it was still nice to go to Center City,” Gentilcore said.

Sophomore Kimberly DelCol attended last year’s Kick-Off with members of her Augustine and Culture Seminar class. They visited the art museum, the Franklin Institute, the Eastern State Penitentiary and – her favorite – the Penn Archaeology Museum, she said. They also ended up sticking around for some of the concerts.

“It was alive … There were people everywhere,” Delcol said. “It was buzzing. There was a lot going on.”

Since last year’s Kick-Off, Delcol and her friends have gone into Philadelphia several times to visit the museums, see concerts and enjoy an occasional cheesesteak.

“I definitely take more advantage of it knowing what it has to offer and what’s going on in Philly,” Delcol said.

Villanova’s Campus Activities Team is sending buses to and from the Campus Philly Kick-Off with the earliest buses leaving Villanova at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the returning buses leaving at 4 and 7 p.m.

Bus tickets are $5 and students may sign up during the week in room 108 of Dougherty Hall.