Block Party at CU Denver 2019

Block Party celebrates the start of a new school year

August 26, 2019

Aromas from an assembly of food trucks permeated the air as rock music blared from a stage at CU Denver’s signature start-of-the-year celebration, the Block Party. New this year: stand-up paddle boarding in a blowup pool and the display of a souped-up Jeep owned by Urban Engaged Scholar Kevin Rens, PhD, who teaches in the College of Engineering Design and Computing.

Chancellor Dorothy Horrell greets students at the 8th annual CU Denver Block Party.

Free swag and fun at the Block Party

Thousands of students, faculty and staff attended the Aug. 22 event, where they received free swag and perused booths from the university’s seven colleges and schools, and its many student organizations. Kelly Mason, who heads the Block Party, describes it as an information fair with a party atmosphere.

Students agree.

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Students try stand-up paddle boarding in an inflatable pool.

“It’s nice to see what kind of clubs and activities are offered on campus,” said freshman Gretchen Schooleman, of Denver. “And to see the sense of community on campus.”

The Block Party takes place minutes away from campus on a street nestled between CU Denver’s administration offices and the CityCenter. Gabriel Carballo, a freshman from the Denver metro region, sees himself returning to the area, he said.

“I’ve hung out in downtown Denver, like, once. I want to keep doing it,” said Carballo, who enjoyed the Block Party while taking photos of the surrounding buildings for one of his first architecture classes.

Students play games at the block party.
Students participate in a variety of activities at the Aug. 22 Block Party.

Nearby, student Safana Aljasim, a freshman from Saudi Arabia who is studying English, cooled off with an iced lemonade as she took in her new surroundings.

“It’s a beautiful city,” she said.

Food trucks line Lawrence Street as students enjoy this year’s event.