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University of North Georgia’s Nighthawks Entertainment organize extraordinary first night of Spring Jam festivities

       By: Shaswat Patel

  1. First we feast: Free soda, chips, popcorn and candy was provided to all participants free of charge.

2. Rain, rain, go away: There was a 45% chance of rain, so an executive meeting was called with the goal of determining whether to continue the event preparation or not. Nighthawks Entertainment decided not to cancel the event and continued the preparation.

3. The best things in life are free: Nighthawks Entertainment was able to supply hundreds of attendants with free shirts. In order to make sure the distribution was efficient, organizers kept count of shirts. Pictured here, from left to right, are Mary Ann Young, Genesis Slocumb, and Natalie West.

4. Communication is key:  In order to make sure University of North Georgia students are on the same page, Nighthawks Entertainment sent out emails notifying students about when they could start arriving, where to park, and if there were any changes to plans. Pictured here is Early Childhood major, Loren Sullivan. Sullivan played a crucial role in communication with attendees.

5. Where do I even begin?: The area directly behind the Dahlonega campus library is usually empty, so it was the perfect area to set up the drive-in movie inflatable screen. The set up process for the screen took the help of a dozen people and about 20 minutes.

6. That’s a lot of real estate:  This is another glimpse of the area where the inflatable screen was set up. The 2017 movie “Baby Driver” starring Jamie Foxx and Ansel Elgrot was shown. In addition to a high tech stereo system, a transmitter was used to share the movie audio over the airwaves, allowing viewers to listen to the movie from their car radio.

7. Teamwork makes the dream work: Preparation for the event required the help of dozens of volunteers from multiple organizations from UNG. Pictured here, Scott Hefner, Interim Coordinator of Student Involvement, monitors Nighthawk Entertainment volunteers as they set up the inflatable screen.

8. Slow and steady: The inflatable screen usually takes over nine minutes to inflate. However, Nighthawks Entertainment made sure to begin the inflation process early to avoid any delays.

9. Who needs the gym?: Why go to the gym to workout, when you can come volunteer for Spring Jam? Pictured here is Konnor Sanders who helped with the screen inflation process.

10. Smile, you’re on camera: Sanders takes a moment to flash a smile. Even though the full set up process took hours, smiling during the process helped lift the spirit of the volunteers. The volunteers all made sure to help each other out, and the result was a positive and fun experience.

11.Well, would you look at that:  After nine excruciating minutes, volunteers finally finished the inflation process. They took a sigh of relief and stepped back, admiring the hard work they put in.

12. Bigger than life (and the library): The Dahlonega library spans 3 stories and is over 35 feet tall. However, the inflatable screen still towers over the library. The screen, when fully inflated, reached a height of over 42 feet tall, ensuring all attendees are able to comfortably watch the movie from their cars.

13. Looks good to me: David Michener, in back, director of student involvement for UNG, expresses his satisfaction with the completed setup. He facilitated UNG’s response to coronavirus in relation to organizing student events. “Spring Jam this year had to be specially modified in accordance to social distancing. After careful discussion, we decided a drive-in movie night and drive-in concert would ensure students enjoy the festivities and stay healthy at the same time,” says Michener.

14.Whoa, hold your horses: Even though the movie was set to begin at 8 p.m., eager movie viewers began arriving as early as 6:30 p.m. Volunteers quickly sprung to action directing traffic. Trucks and vans were directed to the back row while sedans were allowed to park at the front, ensuring all attendees had a relaxed viewing experience.

15. Let the show begin: As it started to get it darker, the anticipation rose. It seemed like forever, but the clock eventually reached 8:30 p.m. With a large bowl of popcorn and a cold cup of soda, viewers settled into their cars, ready for the movie to begin.

16. Lights out, fun in: The movie was an exciting opportunity for students to watch a rollercoaster of a film. “Baby Driver” started at roughly 8:45 p.m. and ran to 11:15 p.m.

17. This is my favorite part: Spectators continue enjoying the movie.

18. Time to rock n’ roll: The Tuten Brothers performed on Friday, Apr. 23. UNG Spring Jam consisted of a drive-in movie theatre and two concerts over the course of 3 weeks. The setup and clean up process for all three events was similar.

19. Time to beat the traffic: Attendees swiftly left before the movie ended in order to avoid traffic.

20.  Can you hear me now: Middle School Education major John Hovell directs traffic out of the lot after the movie. Hovell played a pivotal role in directing traffic, using his charismatic and energetic voice and a megaphone to make a boring task bearable.

21. Exit this way: Nighthawks Entertainment volunteers made sure that all attendees safely exited the event in an efficient order. As the movie ended, all traffic was cleared within 10 minutes.

22. It’s over already?: Some attendees decided to stay after the movie ended. However, they soon left.

23. The future (and the headlights) is bright: The final cars exited the parking lot. The clean up crew made sure all cars exited first, then began taking down the inflatable screen, in order to avoid potential accidents.

24. Pickup patrol: The empty parking lot allowed volunteers to pick up trash without having to worry about accidents. Pictured here, volunteer Loren Sullivan leads a group of volunteers to pick up litter. Soda cans and wrappers were picked up and disposed of.

25. It all came crashing down: Ok, not literally. But do you remember how long it took to inflate the screen? If you said 9 minutes, you would be correct. It only took 3 minutes for the inflatable screen to come down, allowing for a quick clean up.

26. All good things have to come to an end: The complete deflation of the inflatable screen marks the end of a fun movie night. An exciting night of food, free shirts, and entertainment for attendees required the careful efforts of dozens of volunteers. As the final car drove off, students looked back and couldn’t help to ask, “When is the next event?”

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University of North Georgia’s Nighthawks Entertainment organize extraordinary first night of Spring Jam festivities