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DelVal students put on “A-Day” to remember


A-Day visitors at Delaware Valley University were undaunted by the changeable weekend weather that varied from sunny to overcast and chilly to rain and back to sunshine. They turned out in record crowds for all three days of the first state fair of the season, held annually at the popular Doylestown Township university.

DelVal showed off its strong agricultural heritage for the thousands who visited the sprawling campus to see the educational exhibits, livestock show, pig races and demonstrations that included tree climbing, karate, wool work and sheepdog handling.

Families especially came out for the event, enjoying the farm animals, hayrides, pony rides, live music, tractor parades, balloon twisters and performances by the DVU Dance Team.

Food vendors ranged from the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s hearty milkshakes to grilled cheese sandwiches made by one of the school’s fraternities.

A-Day is a student-run event. Work began a year ago to make this year the best ever, and senior and event president Ashleigh Moss said her staff was ready well in advance.

“I would say there was no stress all weekend because everyone was so well prepared,” she said.

Moss was especially appreciative of the university faculty and staff who helped make the event a success, thanking them for their support.

A-Day opened Friday with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s. It has been a three-day event and an official state fair since 2004, through  the work of then-student president Jason Smith ‘04.

University President Benjamin Rusiloski complimented the students on their work for A-Day, saying it’s all part of DelVal’s focus on real-world experience for the students.

“A-Day is an honored tradition at DelVal,” he said. “This was our 74th year and had the largest attendance in recent history. We welcomed more than 11,000 people over the weekend and are immensely proud of our students for planning and executing such a successful event.”

Bringing the public to the campus for A-Day enhances “the sense of community that helps make DelVal a special place,” said Broc Sandelin, current dean of agriculture and environmental sciences.

Deputy Agricultural Secretary Lisa Graybeal, a third-generation Pennsylvania dairy farmer, applauded A-Day in her speech, saying, “It’s events like these where people learn where their food comes from.”

Also speaking was U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-15, who talked about the federal farm bill and his position as chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.

Work on next year’s A-Day was scheduled to begin the day after this year’s event, with a new team of students in charge.

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