New event brings Alma community together

Emma Figlewicz and Megan NeeleyNews

September 21, 2021

On Sep. 11 downtown Alma closed its streets and opened a new event to the city called Alma Alive. People of all ages and ethnicities came to support the event that supplied itself with dancing, live music, car show, games and food.

“Alma Alive is an event centered around celebrating our community and the businesses and organizations in it,” said Damian Sanderson, owner of Highland Blush. “It is meant to bring people together, to spread joy and togetherness and to help people lift some of the weight off their shoulders of the last couple years.”

This event offered students the ability to see what the community offered first-hand, acting as a snapshot for the town.

“There were tables for non-profit organizations giving out information and hosting fun activities for the kids. There were many vendors out showcasing their products,” Julia Dang, Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion, said.

It gave a great way for students to connect with people who live on campus while also meeting some of the locals. Additionally, it gave a refreshing view for the people of Alma to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I had never seen so much diversity at a community event in Alma before. It was refreshing being able to see Latinx folks out dancing with other town folks,” Dang said. “With Alma’s second largest racial group being Hispanic/Latinx, this was a great opportunity to better connect with this population.”

Though this event was a big success there is always room for improvement in the coming years.

“Perhaps, to improve, they could have some food and drinks vendors next year, since many of the restaurants downtown were so busy, they ran out of food. It was also very difficult to find trash cans,” Elizabeth Strobel, CSO Assistant Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, said.

With numerous festivities and games being held people had countless options to participate and watch.

“The highlight of the event for me was the small car show. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved cars and anytime I get a chance to see a collection of them I must check them out,” Andrew Ludden (‘24) said.

“The moment that stood out to me was the kiltie dancers from the [Alma College] dance team. Seeing the young highland dancers look up to them in the crowd was moving to watch,” Abby Taylor (‘24) said.

The collaboration within the community was what made this event unforgettable. The success of this night proved that events like these are not only possible but are crucial in bringing together the people of Alma.

“I look forward to having more visibility in our Alma city community and hope that we can organize more programs in collaboration with folks in the downtown strip so that our efforts are able to be enjoyed by not only the Alma College campus, but our greater community,” Dang said.

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