Nittanyville Is Open For Business In 2016
Choruses and smiles outside of Beaver Stadium on Wednesday night signaled the 2016 reignition of one of Penn State’s favorite traditions: Nittanyville. Nittanyville is the official Penn State football fan club in the absence of a fully organized student section. Students participating in the club arrive at Gate A of the football stadium Wednesday night each week before a home game to camp out for seats in the first few rows of the student section.
Camping out for seats at Penn State football games started even before 1993 when the weekly temporary village became a mainstay for home games. The camp was first called “Paternoville” in 2005 during a weeklong campout preceding the game against Ohio State. A student made a “Paternoville” banner and the nickname caught on. The rag-tag band of campers became an official student organization and in 2012 changed its name to Nittanyville as it goes by today. Each year seems to further cement the pregame powwows as part of the best football student section in the nation. “[Nittanyville] is a tradition that’s… near and dear to the university and a lot of current students and alumni really enjoy what we do,” Nittanyville president, Sara Butcher said.
Just after 11:00pm members of the executive board called out, “tents up!” onto the muggy night air and dozens of dwellings popped up across the landscape. The town’s residents this drizzly evening included a diverse mixture of freshmen to seniors seniors and even a graduate student, all of whom seemed to embrace the fanaticism of the camp. With the tents in place, the group congregated around a set of blue plastic trash cans for the feature event of the night; drum line. While members of the executive board laid out a beat on the dumpster lids, Nittanyvillle residents belted out spirited renditions of “Fight on State” and “The Nittany Lion.” The group then closed their night with a traditional singing of the “Alma Mater”.
Nittanyville has an eventful 2016 coming up. There is a season long “Trash Can Football” league planned for regular campers and plenty of perks, including food provided by various vendors most nights. Football players and coaches make a habit of showing their appreciation to the camped-out fans and will often come address the crowds during the week. Of course the most anticipated time of the season at Nittanyville is the annual weeklong camp out, which is scheduled for Ohio State week this year.
“There’s something going on every day that week,” Butcher said. “If you’re going to do one game, you want to do this one.”
Ohio State week’s headline events include a Wednesday night dunk contest with the basketball team and a big Thursday night “Trash Can Football” tournament open to any campers in Nittanyville that week.
After the meeting wrapped up and most campers retreated inside their tents for the night, Butcher expressed satisfaction with the start of 2016’s season and optimism for the rest of the year. “We have a lot of fresh faces and I think it’s going to be a really good season. I’m excited.”
Tyler Olson is a freshman print journalism major pursuing minors in political science and Spanish. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.