Game Day Experience celebrates three years

The+WSU+Dance+Team+followed+behind+the+football+team+during+the+Game+Day+Experience+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+26.+Their+pep+before+the+game+helped+push+the+football+team+to+win+against+St.+Cloud+State+University.
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Game Day Experience celebrates three years

The WSU Dance Team followed behind the football team during the Game Day Experience on Saturday, Oct. 26. Their pep before the game helped push the football team to win against St. Cloud State University.

The WSU Dance Team followed behind the football team during the Game Day Experience on Saturday, Oct. 26. Their pep before the game helped push the football team to win against St. Cloud State University.

Shannon Galliart

The WSU Dance Team followed behind the football team during the Game Day Experience on Saturday, Oct. 26. Their pep before the game helped push the football team to win against St. Cloud State University.

Shannon Galliart

Shannon Galliart

The WSU Dance Team followed behind the football team during the Game Day Experience on Saturday, Oct. 26. Their pep before the game helped push the football team to win against St. Cloud State University.

Kellen Brandt, Features Reporter

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Food trucks, vendors, student clubs and organizations and so much more all came together before the Warrior football game to participate in the Warrior Game Day Experience.

The Game Day Experience is in its third year at Winona State University and has grown in popularity and success more each year.

Tracy Hale, associate director of alumni relations and head organizer of Warrior Game Day Experiences, talked about the great success these events have had.

“Every year it has picked up in intensity and popularity and this year we’ve really had a great student turnout and I’m hoping that we can continue that in the future,” Hale said.

Tayler Stegath, junior at Winona State majoring in criminal justice, says she has gone to the Game Day Experience every year so far.

“When I first started going to the game days, they were smaller but now I can’t believe how many people come and how many different booths are in the street,” Stegath said.

When the game days started, they were small and ran by few people on campus, now it has grown in organizers and participants.

“It started as a small task force of different parts of the  campus but now it has grown to be a 30-person committee that I’m in charge of and it’s got students on it, student athletes, Student Senate, the cheerleading advisor, security, facilities, housing, I could go on and on with everyone we have helping and supporting us now,” Hale said.

Hale said the Game Day Experience has reached out across campus and the entire community of Winona to give every aspect of Winona a voice in the game day.

“There’s a lot more student incentives now, for example we handed out Purple Reign T-shirts at the first game,” Hale said. “We have had the American Marketing Association do the bags tournament to bring students in, we’ve had a live band, we even had a mechanical bull once.”

This last weekend Love your Melon asked people to write cards to children with cancer and in return were able to enter for a drawing to win a beanie.   

Aside from incentives to the students and community of Winona, it also is a great place for people to expand their groups and have a place to present their skills.

“We’ve got little boys group called the Winona’s Little Warriors, who are starting their own drum-line after seeing the WSU drumline do their show,” Hale said.

The Winona State drumline is new to the Game Day Experience.

“People had wanted the band to do a drumline at the Game Day Experience but they did not have harnesses to do a drumline so the Football Players Association and a private donor purchased and donated harnesses to the band to let them be a part of the Game Day Experience,” Hale said.

The Game Day Experience has been done for basketball, gymnastics, and volleyball in the past. Hale plans to continue having Game Day Experiences for more sports teams in the future as well.

While the Game Day Experience is usually before the Warrior Football games, it is not just about the football team.

“It’s not just for football it’s really for the community it’s for us to all have a place to gather,” Hale said. “It’s about inviting the community to come to campus that don’t normally come to campus on any given day, it’s about bringing people together it’s bringing students out of their dorms, out of the cafeteria, out of the library, wherever they might be, and having a fun safe place for people to hang out.”