Food, pens, cups and the chance to learn about local merchants and companies drew an estimated 20,000 students to Ohio State’s sixth annual Buck-i-Frenzy.
In and around the Recreation and Physical Activity Center, local and international vendors and sponsors lined the sidewalks offering free samples of their latest products, services and food to students walking by.
Students carried free tote bags from Old Navy, ate complimentary pizza from Hungry Howie’s, grabbed lotion from Bath & Body Works and wore their free Buck-i-Frenzy T-shirts.
The band Walk the Moon also performed for about a half hour at the event. The Cincinnati-bred group played an acoustic set, including “Tightrope” and “Next in Line,” closing with its perhaps most well-known song, “Anna Sun.”
Even with the draw of live music, some students said the free items were what brought them out Tuesday.
“I love the free stuff,” said Megan Benn, a second-year in criminology and sociology. “I got like five T-shirts so that was really cool.”
Benn beat the crowd, which is often ideal at events at a university as large as OSU.
“The line for (Victoria’s Secret) Pink was insane so I am so glad we came early,” Benn said.
Transfer student Kaley Garubba, a second-year in exploration, said Buck-i-Frenzy was a great way to start off the year.
“We never had anything like this at James Madison (University), it’s awesome,” Garubba said.
Buck-i-Frenzy was a hit with returning students as well.
“There is great food, you can see a ton of people, get free stuff, so why wouldn’t you want to come out?” said Alex Blake, a second-year in health science.
While many students were opting for the free items, others were interested in what the vendors and sponsors had to offer.
“There is lots to see and lots to do, it’s a good way to find out about different merchants and companies around campus,” said first-year in Spanish Maureen Flanagan. “I will definitely be coming back next year.”
OSU Student Life spokeswoman Kellie Uhrig said the event is held so area companies can connect with students without coming to the involvement fair.
“Buck-i-Frenzy began as a way for local and national businesses to get involved during Welcome Week,” Uhrig said. “We wanted to maintain the integrity of the involvement fair for its purpose, to connect students with involvement opportunities.”
An OSU Student Life spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email requesting the cost of the event Tuesday night.