The line snaked from the box office to the food court of the Brower Student Center, but students weren’t hungry for tickets for the latest event in Kendall Hall. They were just hungry.
The Bonner Center, TCNJ College Democrats, Student Government and the Trenton Downtown Association sponsored Eat Trenton, a dining and entertainment event designed to promote local businesses, on Thursday, March 17.
The event featured free food from eight Trenton restaurants, performances by local bands and singer/songwriters and an art showcase by S.A.G.E. Collective, a group of muralists with roots in Trenton, according to its website.
Alex Berger, senior political science and philosophy double major and co-founder of the College Democrats, helped organize the event.
“I came up with the idea after visiting a Trenton restaurant sampler earlier this school year,” Berger said in an e-mail. “I got in contact with the Trenton Downtown Association, who had run the sampler, and asked for their help in bridging the gap between Trenton and the College.”
Eight restaurants — Cafe International, Chapala II Mexican Restaurant, Mill Hill Saloon, Rozmaryn Restaurant, San Juan Cafe, The Hummingbird, Trenton Kebab and Stace of Cakes — offered a variety of cuisine ranging from Italian to Mexican.
Students loaded up plates with kebabs, nachos, miniature cupcakes, pasta and pierogis. They munched on their food in the Student Center Atrium and food court to the sounds of local artists Jermaine the Emcee, Brian Williams, Kelly Carvin and Honah Lee.
Behind them, members of the S.A.G.E. Collective splashed color onto blank canvases. The Collective is responsible for the 90-foot whale on the side of a Jersey City building, among other murals, according to the Hudson Reporter.
Berger was thrilled with the event.
“According to the count that was provided by police, it was the biggest crowd that the Student Center has had for a long time,” he said. “I want this event to be a legacy I leave
behind for years and years to come.”
“The fact that people kept going back for seconds, people were calling their friends to come and the general student’s attitudes makes me feel like the event was successful, especially in light of how new the event was,” Berger said. “What made me most satisfied, however, was seeing the students talk to the restaurateurs because that is what local business is about, knowing and meeting those people that enrich your community and building a kinship with your area.”
Emily Brill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.