Youngsters enjoy FanFest activities in the Flynn Recreation Complex
Attendees also can dine on hamburgers, hot dogs and ballpark-style sausage sandwiches cooked on an outdoor grill, or browse BC souvenirs and memorabilia at a booth operated by Boston College Bookstore.
"FanFest has become the thing to do on game day: It's entertaining and it's a great atmosphere," said Assistant Athletic Director Jamie DiLoretto, who helps oversee the festivities. More than 2,000 ticket-holders visited FanFest before each of BC's first three home football games this fall, he added.
BC's cheerleaders, marching band and Eagle mascot are also are on hand for the pre-game festivities, according to DiLoretto, along with a disc jockey for music and live on-location broadcasts from WEEI-AM, the radio station that carries all BC football games.
The event is sponsored by the BC Athletic and Alumni associations, with financial support from the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of New England.
The FanFest concept started several years ago as the "T Party," a pre-game gathering at the RecPlex for fans taking public transportation and seeking an alternative to traditional parking lot tailgate picnics, according to DiLoretto. This year, the event was expanded to include alumni functions, additional entertainment for children, a bookstore outlet and musical events, all underwritten by Coca-Cola's corporate sponsorship.
Alumni Association Associate Director John F. Moynihan said that FanFest "opens up a whole new set of options" for graduates and their families on game days. He said many graduates had suggested that a special area be set aside for alumni socializing on football game days, a common practice at many schools across the country. "We really didn't have the ability to do this until we got together with the Athletic Association and came up with FanFest," he said. "It's just been great."
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