For students coming in from around the country, it is not always easy to adjust to an unfamiliar place. In order to make students from all locations and walks of life feel at home in San Marcos, the city’s Main Street Program is throwing a “Passport to San Marcos” party downtown to welcome both incoming freshman and returning Bobcats.
The festivities will take place Aug. 22 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and feature an after-party at The Marc immediately afterwards, giving Bobcats a chance to experience every aspect of life downtown.
“Our primary target is incoming freshman, and basically this is a way to introduce them to their community,” said Kayli Head, Main Street coordinator. “Downtown is right in their backyard, and it is really introducing them to businesses, the eateries and the retail shops and to keep them in mind for the next four years.”
Many different stands and booths will be accessible throughout the event, including one that promises to give students a literal “taste of downtown.”
“There is going to be a block party in The Square on the courthouse lawn,” said Head. “We are going to have free food, KTSW set up playing music, games and prizes and a fun inflatable derby race.”
The block party will also serve as check-in for a QR scavenger hunt in which anyone can participate, Head said. QR codes will be set up in 80 downtown places. To play, participants start by scanning as many codes as they can. This continues through Sunday. Participants are eligible to win $2,000 in prizes, including a YETI cooler and a GoPro camera.
“This is going to be a really fun event, and it’s a great way to introduce students to businesses that they may not have found otherwise and, in the meantime, winning some fun prizes,” said Head.
Though this event is only going on its second year, it has opened collaboration with many businesses, eateries and retail stores downtown. Some of the businesses that will be participating in the event include Hays County Outfitters, Gil’s and The Marc.
“We are really excited to participate in this event again this year,” said Whitney Connell, Hays County Outfitters store manager.
Business owners are anticipating a rise in customers after the incoming freshmen and returning students explore the establishments they may not have checked out before.
“I would say that after this event we really did start to see a rise in business,” Connell said. “We are one of the stops on the scavenger hunt, and we have the store open during the entire event along with a coupon on the flyers that will be handed out.”