Is Celebration something to celebrate about?

By Makenna Calkin
Staff Writer

Celebration is a family fun event that has been put on by the students of Rochester College; however, does everyone really know what Celebration is?

Celebration is a variety show that allows students of any kind to participate. The show is given a theme and students are able to come up with an act or a song to contribute to the show. “It’s a tradition that tries to pull the entire campus community together,” said Katelyn Hargrave, who is the director of Celebration along with her husband, Clay Hargrave. In fact, some of Hargrave's favorite memories are from Celebration from when she was a student here at RC.

There are many roles that are seen in the show. The social clubs are a huge part of Celebration, as they all perform skits. They come up with about 10 minutes of content for their skits, which relate to the main topic. Then, there is the dance team. The dance team practices several dances to perform in between host skits and club skits. Next, we have the hosts. The hosts are like the announcers for the show. They have a big responsibility to tie the whole show together by providing fun content to keep the audience interested while giving time for the next act to prepare.

The theme of Celebration is the most important decision. At the end of every Celebration, Katelyn and Clay ask for suggestions from all of the participants of the show. This year, the theme for celebration is Classic Television. Some examples of classical television shows are "I Love Lucy," "Andy Griffith," "The Lawrence Welk Show," "The Brady Bunch" and even "The Addams Family." 

“One suggestion Clay and I received was an idea for a sitcom theme Celebration,” said Hargrave. Eventually, the two talked it over and came up with Classic TV.

Celebration dates all the way back to when Rochester College was still called Michigan Christian College. The show is on its 41st year and every year has been a success! Jim Calkin, an alumnus of Rochester College class of ‘87, remembers his days at the college and performing in Celebration back when RC was called MCC. “My favorite memories were from when I was a host with Dr. David Brackney (Chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics) coming up with content and being able to sit in on club skits,” said Calkin. He participated in Celebration all four years he was in college. According to Calkin, the entire campus was always excited for Celebration. Back then, it involved club sits, host skits, singers and even a live band! It involved many late nights and exhaustion, but lifelong friends were made during that time. He even remembered back when the show was held during chapel.

This current year has been a bit of a struggle for Celebration. The past couple of shows have been lacking participation from the campus. There is a variety of reasons why this could be, but those who are active in planning and performing for Celebration always end up looking forward to it for the next year. “One difference between Celebration and the theater shows is that the students are the ones who come up with the content.” The show is written by the students, which makes it more unique. One other reason could be lack of club participation. “There are so many reasons to the point where anything is a reason not to participate.”

Celebration is an event for everyone on campus to get involved in! Come see for yourself what Celebration is! The shows run from Thursday, February 22, to Saturday, February 24. Each date has a show for 7:30 pm as well as a 2:00 pm showing on Saturday the 24th. Hope to see you all there!