Pirate Pride on Display at Celebrate Armstrong 2014 

Armstrong State University proudly hosted the second annual Celebrate Armstrong weekend on October 9-11, inviting students, faculty staff and the community to join in a high-energy celebration of Pirate Pride.

The festivities kicked off with one of the university’s oldest traditions, the Celebrate Armstrong Festival, on Thursday in the campus quad. Hundreds of students enjoyed the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull, climb a rock wall, participate in games and contests and see a varied lineup of live entertainment. More than 50 departmental and student organizations also had booths set up on the grass, contributing to the carnival-like atmosphere.

“Celebrate Armstrong provided us with free food, fun activities and a variety of booths,” says Mercedes Brockington, a sophomore majoring in English Communications. “It was incredibly fun!”

In a lively showdown, Vice President of Student Affairs Georj Lewis and Vice President of Advancement William Kelso took turns riding the mechanical bull, raising money for Armstrong student scholarships. The hilarious video can be viewed on Armstrong’s Facebook page.

“My favorite part of Celebrate Armstrong was the bull ride,” raves Thuc Nguyen, a junior majoring in international economics. “It was fun watching others attempt it!”

On Friday night, the inaugural Armstrong Alumni Gala attracted more than 250 attendees at the Armstrong for an evening of cocktails, dinner and awards. Highlights included the presentation of Notable, Outstanding and Distinguished Alumni Awards at this black-tie optional gala. All proceeds from the event benefit scholarship funds to build the next generation of Armstrong alumni.

The fun culminated on Saturday night at the Celebrate Armstrong Beach Music Blowout, featuring live music by the acclaimed Band of Oz. Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered on Burnett Boulevard Lawn and enjoyed homemade picnics as well as Low Country Boil dinners available on-site.

After dark, the crowd walked down an avenue of tiki torches to attend the Celebrate Armstrong fireworks display on Arts Drive. Hundreds of attendees listened to Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken dedicate the evening’s fireworks to America’s armed forces, who serve our nation with pride and distinction.

After a moment of silence in honor of members of the military, the fireworks exploded above Armstrong, sending colorful sparks across the night sky. The crowd gasped and applauded, clearly delighted with the elaborate display.

“This is my first semester at Armstrong, and I really enjoyed Celebrate Armstrong,” says Chris West, a computer science major. “It's a good way for people to come together and meet.”

Celebrate Armstrong 2014 provided the perfect showcase for Pirate Pride and went out with a bang. Next year’s event promises to be even bigger and better!