The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was not stopping Rocky the Red Hawk from celebrating his 19th birthday this October. The mascot’s birthday was celebrated on Monday, Oct. 5 and was filled with fun activities for Montclair State University students to attend both in-person and virtually.
The first event of the day was breakfast in the Student Center Ballrooms. Rocky and his sister, Roxy, were available in the morning to take some pictures and dance with guests as they ate bagels.
This event happened in two shifts, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students could sign up for one of these two time slots in order to celebrate with Rocky, while keeping the number of people in the room low to follow safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Next was Rocky’s birthday parade. Several student organizations joined Rocky in his march around campus and handed out goodies to the students who cheered Rocky on. The parade route went all around campus, starting at the Student Center and ending at the Montclair State Ice Arena.
At the arena, Rocky was greeted by Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star for a photo-op. There were plenty of fun activities for students outside of the ice rink, like the RecBoard wheel to win a free shirt and a soup tasting table.
Everyone sang happy birthday to Rocky. Cake with Rocky’s face on it was served to all of the guests in attendance.
To finish off the in-person events was an ice skating lesson with Rocky. Roxy watched as Rocky tried his best to follow along with the rest of the students. After the lesson, everyone was able to free skate with Rocky.
In order to participate in the ice skating event, students had to RSVP as the ice rink only allows a certain amount of people in the rink at a time. People were able to take photos with Rocky after he was done skating on the ice.
Rocky finished off his birthday on Instagram Live. There, students could wish Rocky a happy birthday, ask him questions and celebrate their mascot in a socially distant way.
Team Rocky also took that time to thank everyone involved throughout the day, such as all the student organizations and the Student Communications department.
In spite of the pandemic, it was a busy day celebrating a vital member of our campus community.