Co-chairs predict `best Veishea ever’

Mark Pawlak

The planning for the next Veishea events begin the week after each spring’s celebration, and after a year of work, the general co-chairs are ready for the festivities to begin.

The co-chairs of this year’s Veishea, Brian Nash and Kathy Craig, have mixed enthusiasm, Veishea involvement and a hometown perspective to prepare the events of what they predict is going to be “the best Veishea ever.”

Nash, senior in mechanical engineering from Rockford, Ill., has served on the Veishea committee as a taste director and a Countdown to Veishea chairman in prior years.

He wanted to become a co-chair because he “had a really fun time working with lots of different types of people last year as the taste director.”

Craig, senior in Spanish and finance from Ames, has been an executive secretary, campus-events coordinator and Veishea scholars coordinator for past celebrations.

Being involved in her hometown event is something she has wanted to do for years.

“Veishea is something, growing up in Ames, that has all been a part of what our family did,” Craig said. “I thought that Veishea really affects a lot of people on campus, and you have a big impact.”

About 350 students are involved with the planning of this year’s Veishea, and “they talk it up quite a bit with their friends,” Nash said.

Nash said he thinks more students will be around for Veishea this year.

“I’m seeing a lot of increased excitement this year campus-wide,” he said. “I think people are excited about the entertainment this year with Vertical Horizon and Wayne Brady playing, so people are sticking around a lot more this year than they have in the past.”

Craig said more campus organizations are becoming involved in Veishea. She said last weekend’s Veishea community service day is an example of how Veishea has become a “really good outreach to other clubs and organizations on campus.”

Posters promoting Veishea now advertise any event put on by a campus organization, said Craig.

“Since Veishea is a celebration of Iowa State, we thought that it should include everybody that is putting something on that weekend,” Craig said. “I think it helps, because all those people that put their time into their own clubs and have something going during Veishea deserve the recognition and publicity so people will come to their events as well.”

She said she is looking forward to this year’s Vertical Horizon concert.

“I think that it is really great that Iowa State has an event that is designed for students, that was put together by students,” she said. “The bands were picked by students . and that’s something you don’t have at other schools.”

Nash said he is excited to see everything come together.

“I really like the planning, and once we see the whole fruits of the labor type of thing, it’s going to be really neat,” he said. “There’s a lot of fantastic events. There’s so much entertainment going on, so many different avenues to have fun. Once it all comes together in one week, it’s going to be really neat to see. I’m looking forward to that a lot.”

The co-chairs each have special Veishea memories.

Nash remembers rollerblading “to every single possible thing I could get to” and the free food he got along the way during his freshman year.

Craig said her favorite memories of her involvement in Veishea have been when “you realize all of the hours and the work you’ve put into it really are appreciated by people.”

The future of Veishea looks to be bright, the co-chairs said.

Craig thinks the “increased student support this year will only help make Veishea more popular in the years to come.”

“I think it will live on as a Iowa State tradition, because it holds a special place in a lot of hearts of people in the community, alumni and everybody,” she said. “I hope that it can be as important to other students who are here now and to come as it is to us, the people that have been here before.”

However, Nash said there may be changes and improvements in line for future celebrations.

“I think there’s a lot of ground there for things to grow on,” he said. “We’ve laid the groundwork for a lot of community service that can be done in the future. Entertainment always seems to come up with some new ideas of things they’d like to try.”

All the preparations seem in order for a successful Veishea.

“I think we know we’re ready, because we’ve had so many great people working under us,” Craig said. “Everybody has put in a lot of time and effort planning things. That has made our jobs a lot easier because of all the committee members, aids and everything – it couldn’t happen without them.”

As the preliminary events melt away to the weekend celebration, Nash said his expectations are high.

“I’m just really excited. I think things will go really well,” he said. “It’s going to be the best Veishea ever.”