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Foam, Mud and Simon Estes: it must be time for the Drake Relays

April 3, 2006

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, (515) 271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu,Daniel P. Finney, (515) 271-2833, daniel.finney@drake.edu


From a foam dance party to mud volleyball and, of course, the world’s greatest athletes whipping around inside the newly renovated Drake Stadium at top speed, Drake University is poised to celebrate its 125th anniversary with its grandest of traditions, the Drake Relays.


Drake students will celebrate the Relays with a month of activities, beginning with the traditional Blitz Day kickoff beginning at 4 pm., Thursday, April 6. Student activities include the annual mud volleyball session from 2 to 5 p.m. near Carpenter Residence Hall on Sunday, April 23, and Drake’s first foam dance party.


A foam dance party features a DJ playing music and squirting a foamy substance into a contained area in which people dance. See it for yourself from 9 p.m. to midnight, Thursday, April 27, in the patio area of Olmsted Center.


Other Relays festivities include a birthday party for the University between the regular Friday Relays session and the new evening session. The party will start at approximately 4:30 p.m., April 28, in the Helmick Commons area of Drake campus directly south of Drake Stadium. The party is free and open to the public.


Ticket-holders to the evening session of the Relays will be treated to a grand opening ceremony including the national anthem sung by Iowa native and international opera star Simon Estes, a parade of athletes from elementary school to elite track and field professionals, a ceremonial torch lighting by Relays stars of the past and a fireworks display.


Below is a complete list of activities. All events are free and open to the public unless specifically noted.


THURSDAY, APRIL 6



  • Blitz Day, 4 to 7 p.m., Helmick Commons.
  • Chris Redding Tournament, flag football, 4 to 7 p.m., Helmick Commons.

FRIDAY, APRIL 7



  • Drake chapter of Colleges Against Cancer presents Relay for Life, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., April, Drake Fieldhouse.

SATURDAY, APRIL 8



  • Chris Redding Tournament, flag football, 4 to 7 p.m., Helmick Commons.

SUNDAY, APRIL 9



  • Chris Redding Tournament, flag football, 4 to 7 p.m., Helmick Commons.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19



  • The MTV U Campus Invasion Tour with bands Motion City Soundtrack, Hellogoodbye and Straylight run host a meet and greet in Helmick Commons near Olmsted Center, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • MTV U Campus Invasion Tour Concert with bands Motion City Soundtrack, Hellogoodbye and Straylight, doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 through www.iowatix.com and $10 to those with a Drake ID.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21



  • Annual Leaders and Luminaries, Drake student leadership awards ceremony, 1 p.m., Sheslow Auditorium, Old Main.
  • Float making party, 3 to 7 p.m., Parking Lot 4, adjacent to the Drake Tennis Center.

SATURDAY, APRIL 22



  • Drake Relays Parade, 10 a.m. to noon, Drake campus and neighborhood, Drake alumni Dan and Pat Jorndt, will serve as parade marshals. The Relays Parade starts at 24th Street and University Avenue, then moves west on University, then north on 30th Street, then east on Forest Avenue, ending at Forest and 25th Street. Businesses and community organizations are invited to participate. Those interested in participating should contact Ivy Miller at the Student Life Office at (515) 271-3711.
  • Street Painting, 1 to 5 p.m., Painted Street, Carpenter Avenue.
  • Mid-Seventies Music Alumni Reunion, 4:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. dinner, Levitt Hall, Old Main. Dinner is $20 per person and a cash bar will be available.

MONDAY, APRIL 24



  • Beautiful Bulldog Contest, 11 a.m., Nollen Plaza, downtown Des Moines.
  • Hypnotist Jim Wand, 9 to 11 p.m., Sheslow Auditorium, Old Main.

TUESDAY, APRIL 25



  • “Fake” Relays, presented by Young Professionals Connection, noon to 1 p.m., Nollen Plaza, downtown Des Moines.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26



  • Drake Relays Downtown Elite Invitational Women’s High Jump Competition, sponsored by Mondo Sport Surfaces, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nollen Plaza, downtown Des Moines.
  • Wear Your Blues Day, across Des Moines and central Iowa in celebration of Drake and the Relays.
  • Relays Carnival, 4 to 7 p.m., Helmick Commons and Olmsted Center.

THURSDAY, APRIL 27



  • Drake Relays, events beginning at 9 a.m., Drake Stadium. Ticket prices vary. Call the Drake Ticket Office at (515) 271-3791 for details.
  • Mascot Relays, presented by Prairie Meadows, noon to 1 p.m., Nollen Plaza, downtown Des Moines.
  • Foam dance party, 9 p.m. to midnight, Olmsted Center patio.

FRIDAY, APRIL 28



  • Drake Relays, events beginning at 9 a.m., Drake Stadium. Ticket prices vary. Call the Drake Ticket Office at (515) 271-3791 for details.
  • Dedication of Drake Plaza and bronze bulldog sculpture, 12:15 p.m., Drake Stadium main entrance, southwest corner of the stadium near Forest Avenue.
  • Drake 125th anniversary celebration, including ice cream and cupcakes, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Helmick Commons area of Drake campus, directly north of Drake Stadium main entrance. Drake President David Maxwell will give a brief address.
  • Internationally renowned opera singer Simon Estes sings the national anthem to open the first evening session of the Relays, 6:05 p.m., Drake Stadium. Evening Relays session ticket required. Ticket prices vary. Call the Drake Ticket Office at (515) 271-3791.
  • Grand Opening Ceremony for the 97th running of the Drake Relays, including a parade of athletes from elementary school through elite professionals, a torch lighting ceremony, video presentation narrated by Simon Estes and Estes’ rendition of “God Bless America,” culminating in a fireworks presentation, 7:30 p.m., Drake Stadium. Evening Relays session ticket required. Ticket prices vary. Call the Drake Ticket Office at (515) 271-3791.
  • Relays celebrations on Court Avenue featuring the Nadas and other bands at various locales, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Court Avenue downtown.

SATURDAY, APRIL 29



  • Drake Relays, events beginning at 9 a.m., Drake Stadium. Ticket prices vary. Call the Drake Ticket Office at (515) 271-3791.
  • Ten-Year cluster reunion (Classes of 1995, 1996, 1997), 6 p.m., Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Pkwy. Hors D’Oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. The cost is $20 per person and includes admission to the Science Center of Iowa to those arriving before 6 p.m. Contact John Brown at (515) 271-3378 to register.
  • Forty-Year cluster reunion (Classes of 1965, 1966, 1967), 6 p.m., Des Moines Club, 666 Grand Ave. Hors D’Oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. The cost is $20 per person. Contact Melisa Cox at (515) 271-3077to register.
  • Step Show, 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Parents Hall, Olmsted Center.