Minerpalooza has a date. Friday, September 4. But as you probably already guessed, it’s going to look radically different this year.

UTEP’s biggest party of the year is going from in-person to online for the first-ever, live-streamed Minerpalooza.

Because of the on-going pandemic and the mandates, guidelines, and restrictions that have been placed on events that attract a great number of people crowded together in one place, organizers had a decision to make: cancel or go virtual.

The celebration not only kicks off the new school year, it is one of the university's most celebrated traditions. And to make the decision to go big or go home an even bigger one, this year is the event’s 30th anniversary. So, Nicole Aguilar, Director of the Student Engagement and Leadership Center, was not going to let coronavirus take it without a fight.

“We are not going to let the pandemic stop us and keep us from celebrating another academic school year, the success of our institution, and to support our partners, which are the students and their fundraising efforts, and everyone who has been a part of Minerpalooza,” Aguilar told the student newspaper, The Prospector, in a recent interview.

Past ‘paloozas have included local eats, live entertainment, and family-friendly attractions. Just how organizers plan to incorporate all or some of what has made the part pep rally-part festival such a huge community event while still keeping the party-like vibe of it all has not been detailed yet.

UTEP’s Executive Director of Special Events Jorge Vazquez, who has been working on the project with Aguilar, tells The Prospector virtual-Palooza will integrate all the technology available. “It’s going to be everything, there will be live elements, pre-produced elements, hybrid elements."

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