The Big Red Marching Band impresses the crowd at C.U. Downtown on Saturday.

Michael Wenye Li / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The Big Red Marching Band impresses the crowd at C.U. Downtown on Saturday.

September 4, 2017

C.U. Downtown Introduces Students to Vibrant Ithaca Culture

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C.U. Downtown brought the Ithaca Commons to life for students and Ithaca community members at a special freshmen-oriented event on Saturday.

Highlights included free Cornell Dairy ice cream samples, Coltivare cookies — which seemed to be a big hit among the crowd — and a spirited Big Red Marching Band performance at Trolley Circle.

“There had to be about 100 people on the TCAT,” Sophie Cook ’20 told The Sun.
“It was so funny, it took ten minutes for the bus to fill up because the driver just packed us all on there.”

The event called North Campus residents away from the CKB Quad and into Ithaca’s broader offerings: not only did it show freshman how to take a sometimes daunting TCAT from campus to the Commons, but it brought the Ithaca community together with a characteristically wide-range of music, foods, bargain shops and personalities.

Attendees are approached by a Chinese dragon at the C.U. Downtown celebration.

Michael Wenye Li / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Attendees are approached by a Chinese dragon at the C.U. Downtown celebration.

Many students, including Aditi Joshi ’21, flocked to the Commons with their residence halls.

“A lot of people in Mews, we all walked down to the Risley bus stop together and piled on,” she said. “This is my first time in the Commons and it’s really beautiful.”

The event attracted a range of attendees—Cornellians and community members, freshmen and graduate students.

Freshmen Taryn Reardon ’21, Zoe Bertol-Foell ’21 and Mahima Kumbhat ’21 came down for the shopping, restaurants and free food. Joshi said she came to watch a dance team she hopes to join.

Many Ithacans returned to the event for the second time. Zoey Roberts ’20 enjoyed the first annual C.U. Downtown day with a friend from her orientation group.

Students explore the shops and festivities in the Commons on Saturday.

Michael Wenye Li / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Students explore the shops and festivities in the Commons on Saturday.

“This year I came down again to hear that same friend actually play in the marching band,” Roberts said.

The festivities brought together an eclectic crowd to enjoy a taste of Ithaca’s offerings.

“I was planning on exploring the Commons at some point, but because of this event I did it now,” Joshi added. “It’s a good first impression.”