-For Discover Parkland-
Contributing writer Dianne McGinness
Pacific Lutheran University’s annual music festival is a chance to gather together PLU students and Parkland residents into one gigantic celebration. The emergence of sunshine at LollaPLUza had Garfield Street crawling with people this weekend.
Close to 500 people came out to bask in the sweltering heat and enjoy the festivities on Garfield Street in Parkland. LollaPLUza patrons lingered outside Reyna’s Mexican Restaurant and crowded the stages at both ends of Garfield Street to watch the multiple music performances throughout the day.
Diane Crews, a Parkland resident and active community member had a booth at the event to promoter her own business, Olivia Jane Enterprises.
Crews often volunteers her time with various clubs at PLU and has been an active participant in the community to promote more connection between the university and the surrounding area.
“I’m kind of a mom away from home for some of the students,” she adds.
So naturally, when the university asked if she would like to run a booth at the event, there was no hesitation. “I’m also a musician myself and so I just wanted to be a part of it,” Crews said.
Although in the past LollaPLUza has been an event that catered more to PLU students, there has been a move in recent years to make the event more focused on local business owners in the Parkland community.
Hillary Powell, a senior at PLU and Public Relations Director of Associated Students of PLU, has been working to make the event more focused on Parkland.
“Our whole advertising team for LollaPLUza this year did a lot of outreach and put posters up around town,” she says. “It’s not just a PLU event, we tried to ensure that the community knows about it,” Powell said.
Lina Aas-Helseth, a Senator for ASPLU was working at a booth this weekend. She also talked about including the community in LollaPLUza.
“Community engagement is something we tried to focus on when organizing the event this year. It gives people a chance to show their PLU pride and engage in the Parkland community.”
The street was buzzing with excitement and positive energy as the main act of the weekend took the stage. Beat Connection, a Seattle-native band put on a fun show to the remaining crowd of a few hundred people.
Despite the uncharacteristic humid weather, there were several PLU student bands that kept the streets alive with music without much of a break. The Housecats, Paper GPS, Kai Hirayama, Yours, and Olivia McLaughlin were among the student performers that came out this weekend.
The other acts at LollaPLUza 2013 hailed from all over the Pacific Northwest. She Bear, the Good Husbands, and Beat Connection were all local talent that came out and put on a fun show for students and community members alike.