SACtacular draws 2,000-plus students, alumni and others

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Zoomagination animal trainer Lauren Inderbitzin shows off Sahra, the porcupine, to the crowd at SACtacular Nov. 6 in the mall area. Zoomagination hosted a live animal show every hour exhibiting exotic animals which included a snake, tarantula, and a sloth. Photo by Danielle Kelly

Zoomagination animal trainer Lauren Inderbitzin shows off Sahra, the porcupine, to the crowd at SACtacular Nov. 6 in the mall area. Zoomagination hosted a live animal show every hour exhibiting exotic animals which included a snake, tarantula, and a sloth. Photo by Danielle Kelly

Rebecca Bradshaw, 6, gets a pink tiger painted on her face at the face painting booth at SACtacular Nov. 6 in the mall area. Various organizations were set up along the walkway, along with food trucks and live music. Photo by Danielle Kelly

Rebecca Bradshaw, 6, gets a pink tiger painted on her face at the face painting booth at SACtacular Nov. 6 in the mall area. Various organizations were set up along the walkway, along with food trucks and live music. Photo by Danielle Kelly

Student life organizations celebrate a clear night of live music, food trucks, games and more.

By Ryan A. Flournoy

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

With their 9-month-old baby in a stroller, alumni Eva and Adam Roig came to SACtacular last week to have fun, sample some festival fare and bask in memories of their courtship at this college.

“We met here before transferring to UTSA,” said Eva Roig. “The food here is better than UTSA, and we enjoy coming here because it is child friendly.”

Face painting and caricature sketches were among many activities to entertain children at the third annual SACtacular hosted Nov. 6 in the mall.

Dental assistant sophomore Karen Reyes explains to her son Gabriel, 6, how to blow bubbles at the STEMulate booth at SACtacular Nov. 6 in the mall area. The bubbles, containing dish soap and distilled water, could stick to the blue mittens that were being worn. Photo by Danielle Kelly

Dental assistant sophomore Karen Reyes explains to her son Gabriel, 6, how to blow bubbles at the STEMulate booth at SACtacular Nov. 6 in the mall area. The bubbles, containing dish soap and distilled water, could stick to the blue mittens that were being worn. Photo by Danielle Kelly

A showcase for departments, programs and student clubs at this college, SACtacular is a free event open to all members of the community.

The SACtacular committee of eight chaired by communications coordinator Melissa Aguirre was forced to postpone the event twice this year due to recent downpours across San Antonio.

Uncertainties about weather conditions had many staff members uneasy up until the night of the event.

Carrie Hernandez, senior student success specialist and event organizer, expressed relief that the rain held off for one night, allowing SACtacular to achieve true block party status.

“I am so grateful it did not rain,” said Hernandez, who estimated at least 2,000 people attended. “We paid our staff overtime to move the boxing event indoors in case it did rain.”

As the lights beamed bright and not a drop in the air, the evening kicked off with the sounds of “Party DJ” Calvin Chapa.

Current, former and prospective students flooded the mall hoping to be the first in line to receive all the evening had to offer.

Whether it was a close view of animals brought by the San Antonio Zoo, a spot in line for one of Chamoy City Limit’s raspas or inquiries at one of the academic department tents, each booth had its own circus of entertainment for its crowd.

The array of departments and student programs caught the eye of environmental science sophomore Jess Meyes, who was sitting next to the EcoCentro booth enjoying a funnel cake.

“It’s always interesting to learn about the different student groups here on campus,” Meyes said of SACtacular. “Students don’t always have time to read every bulletin between classes, and here they can approach the people in different campus groups one on one.”

Watching the Michael Jackson impersonator dancing on stage was the most enjoyable moment of the night for Meyes.

“He had all the moves down to a T,” Meyes said.

Not every student enjoying the activities had realized SACtacular even existed. Engineering freshman Rene Puente was studying on campus a few hours earlier when he noticed the buzz of the event.

“I was doing homework in the Moody Learning Center and when I stepped out I see all of this set up.” Puente said. “My favorite part would have to be the food and live music.”

The mission for the annual block party is to bring awareness to this college’s departments and organizations.

The San Antonio College Regional Fire Academy achieved this mission with flair as they attracted attention with their fire truck managed by academy Coordinator Dan Reese and his team of cadets dressed in full firefighting uniforms.

Accompanying them was mascot Sparky the Fire Dog, who helped distribute fire hats to all those, mostly kids, who wanted them.

“It was a great turnout tonight,” Reese said. “The kids loved Sparky, and we’d love to come back next year.”

Red fire hats made out of plastic covered the head of nearly every child accompanied by a parent throughout the remainder of the night.

Toward the end of the night, food truck lines began to wind down as most attendees settled in for the last few shows.

“Meeting new people and giving back to the school is why we continue to come back to SACtacular,” Marlene Crespo, part owner of Sofrito Food Truck, said.

Since being in business, Sofrito Food Truck has catered for SACtacular every year.

Their beef and chicken empanadas were the most popular dish of the night.

By 9 p.m., the mall that was once a virtual highway of traffic and interaction was now the calm disassembling of another SACtacular night.

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