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New Year’s in November Takes a Wonka Twist

Tuesday afternoon, students of Graceland University received an invitation to the annual dance entitled New Year’s in November.  Only this time, it was modified as a golden ticket sent by the one and only Willy Wonka.  The dance will be located in the MSC main room, and will take place November 9th, from 10 pm – 1 am.

It’s November again, and this Saturday the students of Graceland University will be celebrating New Year’s a tad bit early.  However, this is old news.  Graceland University’s celebration of New Year’s in November has been around for over 15 years, each year taking on a different theme.  This year’s theme is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

“The theme is always picked by the COSA representatives,” says Brandon Bennett, president of the Campus Organization for Social Activities (COSA).  “We want to do whatever the representatives want to do…  We kind of pool the room for available themes.  We also had a COSA survey, which we got the most popular suggested themes to add to the list…  And then the representatives voted and Willy Wonka won the vote.”  COSA has taken the source material for this year’s theme to heart, seeing that the activities, decorations, and the aforementioned invitations has “Willy Wonka” written all over it.

Other than dancing, there is always more fun to have during New Year’s in November.  This year’s activities entail multiple photo booths, a candy bar, an oxygen bar (a bar where you will be able to breathe in flavored oxygen), a caricature artist, and a biscuits and gravy breakfast available after the dance.  All of these activities will be set as familiar moments in the film.  The official photo booth in the South Americas room, for example, will appear as the Wonka Vision room!

With these activities also come the breathtaking decorations.  Members of COSA have been working non-stop to re-imagine the MSC main room as the fantastical factory.  The decorations include candy trees, flavored walls, giant mushrooms, the chocolate river, giant gummy bears, and, of course, the Oompa Loompas.  Bennett claims the chocolate waterfall, however, is his favorite decoration.  “There’s always one big item…  Our big item for this year is going to be the chocolate waterfall and I think it’s going to amaze people.”

Students of Graceland University are encouraged to dress up for New Year’s in November, either as characters from the movie, or in their formal attire.

With all that, there are going to be a few surprises for the evening.  “I will tell you one of the surprises,” states Bennett. “If you do decide to dress formal we’ll give you a top hat.”

Of course, this is one of the most anticipated events of the whole academic year, and with all of these options of activities, it is hard to imagine how one could not have fun.  If you’re looking for a great time, then come celebrate New Year’s in November at the MSC main room, this Saturday from 10 pm – 1 am.

About Kirk Peterson

Kirk David Peterson II is a film/theatre major from Urbandale, Iowa. Other than the wonderful world of film, some if his interests include video games and Batman (just don't mention George Clooney, it's still a touchy subject) . You can bet your life savings that he enjoys long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners, as well as any other cliché that you can think of. He is also a member of the Closson House.


  1. Glad to see that traditions still survive. A small clarification: I was COSA president in 91-92, and we had a New Year’s in November dance. I was carrying on the tradition from the previous COSA president, so it’s been going on for at least 22 years.

  2. So how tasty were the candy trees? – I would love to see photos of the chocolate waterfall!

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