The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Friday Night Dry Attracts a Record Crowd: Face Paint and Food Redeem Annual Booze-Free Event

3 min read


“I love Friday Night Dry!” howled a guy beneath my third story dorm room window.  I had just come up to my room searching for my camera so I could take pictures of Friday evening’s social event.

Seniors Amanda Russell and Nick Perilla headed the Fall 2008 Friday Night Dry. They said that in years past, Friday Night Dry was really a “Thursday Afternoon Dry.” It would be held usually on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.—hardly a fitting time to have a social event meant for students who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages. In cooperation with the Judicial Review Board, Association if Resdience Halls and Office of Students Activites and Community Service, Friday Night Dry was a huge success this year.

“It was a ‘pilot program’,” said Nick Perilla who further explained, “nothing like this has been done before.”

I had previously chatted with a friend, asking her what exactly Friday Night Dry was. She told me not to bother with it and that in previous years it was boring and hardly anyone showed up—meaning it was rarely, if ever, a huge success.

However, I needed to go and see for myself what the deal was. I was there in front of Monroe Hall—where Friday Night Dry was held—for all of five minutes when I decided that it was going to be an awesome night and that I most definitely needed my camera

This year’s event featured face painting, water balloon toss, graffiti (on paper big enough to fit three cars), henna tattoos, acoustic jams, games tables and the most important element of friends and food. The menu included all-American favorites, hotdogs and hamburgers. The food factor escalated the hype and brought in more and more merrymakers by word of mouth.

“I’m an RA so I knew about it already and I read the OSACS weekly e-mail,” answered sophomore Landon James when asked why he came out to Friday Night Dry. “It lets you know what’s going on.  Plus, the food tonight was better than most events here.”

The involvement of the ARH and all the residence halls that set up tables with themes and activities were a good part of the success. The activities were fun, interactive and some even brought out the little kid in us.

“My job was to help come up with the activity idea, execute and supervise it at my table,” said Annie Unger, an RA in Alvey. The Alvey activity was face painting.

In my opinion, this fall’s Friday Night Dry had a lot of appeal for all of the UMW classes. Who wouldn’t fancy free food and fun frivolities?

Freshman Meg Dumlao commented, “I just came out for the food and to hang out. It’s lame having nothing to do on a Friday night.”

On the whole, my friends and I certainly enjoyed the night and took some pretty cool pictures. Furthermore, I am 99.9 percent positive that all who attended had a good time, too. My only recommendation is that it be at least a once-a-semester-happening instead of an annual happening.