Classic dance songs like Cotton Eyed Joe and Cupid Shuffle blared and pumped up Rocky the Red Hawk’s 17th birthday party. Rocky’s big birthday cake featured a photo of his license plate, “Rockin Bird,” and his many mascot friends visited Montclair State University’s campus to wish their feathery friend a happy birthday.
More than 100 students lined up outside the Student Center Ballrooms entrance, waiting to celebrate the bird’s birthday.
The party included popcorn, a big cake and cupcakes decorated with brown, yellow and red frosting to represent Rocky’s look. Organization booths lined the walls of the Student Center Ballrooms, where 90.3 WMSC-FM, the Student Government Association (SGA), Student Life at Montclair (SLAM), Health Promotion, RecBoard and other groups informed students about upcoming events and important information.
“I feel like there’s a lot of good information tables and everything,” said senior fine art education major Rachel O’Neill, who visited the Residence Life and Food First tables. “I think it was really cool to see more than just Rocky.”
Rocky’s mascot friends also attended the event. Deacon the Bear from Bloomfield College, Terry the Dinosaur, Jack the Jackal from the New Jersey Jackals and Rocky’s own sister Roxy arrived in time to sing “Happy Birthday” and participate in numerous dance-offs with Rocky and the students.
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“Rocky’s 17th birthday party is really good so far,” said event staffer and junior communications studies major Josh Mariscal. “There are so many mascots. It’s going to be the highlight of the semester.”
Prizes were raffled off to students as every student accepted a raffle ticket upon entering the birthday bash. Montclair State water bottles filled with candy, school spirited clothing and Red Hawk Deck parking passes were among the prizes eligible to be won in the raffle. Organizations like SLAM and RecBoard also gave away free T-shirts after students answered questions or won games.
“As the SGA and as SLAM, we just support everything that we have for Montclair State University’s students,” said SGA Secretary Jillian Royal, a senior justice studies major. “Rocky is an integral part of who we are as Montclair State University. We just want to show how much we love and appreciate him.”
The patio portion of the party included cornhole, RecBoard’s booth and caricatures drawn by senior illustration major Maggie Evans. With the breezy weather and clear skies, many students lined up to engage in the activities that extended to the outside patio.
“It’s a good party to have even if it’s for a mascot,” said sophomore exercise science major James Fox. “It’s a nice way to bring everybody together, like the commuters and the people living on campus.”
Team Rocky members, along with other staff members from the university, helped coordinate the event.
“Rocky’s friends are all here and all of the students are here representing Rocky, too,” said Team Rocky member Jasmine Metellus, a sophomore business administration major with a concentration in marketing. “It’s a really great time.”