Serendipity celebrates 45 years with music, colors


Fernando Jimenez

3 Inspired by the Hindu festival Holi, the Festival of Colors, that celebrates the beginning of Spring, students throw colored powder in the air at the beginning of Colorfest which took place on Friday Mar. 31, 2017 at the Lake. // Fernando Jimenez/Guilfordian

After 45 years of Serendipity, this year came close to perfect.

From March 31 to April 2, students came out for concerts, Colorfest and more as part of Guilford’s most popular community event.

“Last fall, we really did a lot of ahead of time stuff, so we talked a lot about our T-shirt things and our big orders,” said junior and Serendipity chair Emma Ross. “It was definitely hard to figure out music, so our advisor, Tim Johnson, has helped a lot with that.

“Most of the pretty intricate planning has been over the last few weeks. I was here over spring break working on stuff, and this week has just been a constant back and forth.”

Students, guests and alumni can all register to be a part of the biggest annual campus event.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone to come together,” said Allison DeBusk ’16. “It’s awesome that the College allows alumni to come because that really helps develop a community that continues on and makes people feel like they still have a home here even if they aren’t living here.”

All week, the Campus Activities Board hosted events to get students excited for the weekend, including the Serendipilicious Street Fair, Guilford’s Got Talent and the T-shirt giveaway.

The first event on Friday was Colorfest, based on the Hindu festival of Holi.

“There are a lot of valid concerns about cultural appropriation with Colorfest being definitely based off of Holi festival,” said Ross. “We did a lot of research this year about people who do celebrate Holi specifically and what their feelings are on it and trying to figure out exactly where the line is.

“Most of what we were reading was that they needed to be recognized. So the DJ (said) facts about Holi and (tried) to bring that in and raise awareness about what Holi festival is and where Colorfest comes from and where the differences are.”

Also on Friday, performers Pickled Garlic and Kendra Foster performed on the lawn outside Milner Hall and Bryan Hall.

“I went to the concert (Friday) night,” said first-year Carrington Smith. “And we went to Colorfest. It was really awesome. It’s definitely really cool experiencing Serendipity for the first time. It was everything I expected it to be.”

For the past few years, all Serendipity concerts had been held inside because of the Greensboro noise ordinances as well as concerns about sexual assault.

“We’re trying out between Bryan and Milner, thinking this might be a great way to be in a more controlled space while still having the fun of it being outside,” said Ross.

On Saturday, the day started at 2 p.m. with the LakeFest, a community event by the lake where students played bubble soccer, made tutus and visited tables with activities set up by campus organizations and departments, such as the Black Student Union and the art department.

“We are making posters where people can put their handprint on it with a whole bunch of paint,” said sophomore Lila Jones, who was tabling at LakeFest for The Greenleaf Review. “And then if they want they can come back once its dried and write something about themselves.”

At the Pride table, students could bring their own white shirts to tie-dye.

“Tie-dye is really cool,” said Smith. “I’m pretty sure (most) Guilford students are into something like that, so we just put it together and let everybody just do what they wanted to do.”

LakeFest, as with Serendipity as a whole, aims to bring the Guilford community together.

“We’re all together at the LakeFest,” said senior Leah Whetten-Goldstein. “I don’t know if it’s anyone’s favorite part, but it feels like it’s a lot of people’s favorite part. The majority of the school is all in one area, which is very rare, and that’s very important.”

On Saturday night, Aminé, Noname and Jalen Santoy performed in Dana Auditorium. The weekend ended with brunch on Sunday, where CAB gave out Serendipity wine glasses.

While 2017’s Serendipity is over, we can start looking forward to celebrating next year.

“We definitely have ideas, and that’s something that we’ve continued to talk about,” said Ross. “So we’re looking at things we’ve done even in the last few days and figuring out how we do this next year. We’re definitely thinking about artists. This year, we really wanted to get big artists and we were able to get pretty awesome artists, but if we had started earlier, we would have been able to get even bigger artists.”