With the third annual Pop-Up Art Walk, comedian John Mulaney filling seats at the University of Wyoming on Friday and the UW Cowboys’ first game Saturday afternoon, Laramie is heading into a busy weekend.
But residents and university students can kick off the excitement tonight with a street dance and costume party hosted by NU2U.
The event — now in its seventh year — started as a thank you to NU2U regulars but also as an excuse for the community to get together, have some fun and get dressed up, said Rob Harder, co-owner of the downtown consignment and thrift store.
“At NU2U, we are always about dressing up,” he said.
Altitude Chophouse & Brewery, Coal Creek TAP and the Library Sports Grille & Brewery are all donating beer to sell at the event.
The proceeds this year will go to Interfaith-Good Samaritan, and if past years are any indication, the charity could receive a respectable donation.
This will be the third year the street dance raises money for charity. In 2015, the event raised $1,375 for Interfaith. In 2016, it raised $1,800, which was split between the Downtown Clinic and Heart to Heart Pregnancy Resource Center.
“Realistically, a lot of it depends on how many people are there who we are selling beer to,” Harder said. “But yeah, a lot of people show up and support the event, so we’re pretty excited to be doing it again this year.”
This will also be the third year the street dance collaborates with the Wyoming Art Party’s Pop-Up Art Walk — another annual event usually planned for the same weekend. The art walk enlists downtown businesses to display work by local artists.
The two events usually complement each other, but this year, they are even more intertwined. The art walk’s central Artist Village will share its space with the street dance and even utilize the same stage for performers immediately before and the day after the NU2U event.
“They organize the art walk side; we organize the street dance,” Harder said. “But then, we get together and meet off and on to see the best way we can organize the events so they can work well together.”
Timothy John, the Woodpile and Elk Tongue will provide the live music. There will also be a costume contest, with prizes for the best dressed.
Between the beer, the costumes and the live music, there’s something for people of all ages, Harder said.
“It’s going to be a heck of an event,” he said. “It’s going to be a grand old time for sure.”
Harder said it’s a joy to host a good and fun event for the community, especially something a little different from the norm.
“Basically, it’s supporting live music, having a free event downtown for folks to come down and dress up and have a good time, as well as a fundraiser for a local cause,” he said. “And (it’s) something fun that we do to let people know that we’re here and that we appreciate our customers.”
The NU2U Street Dance and Costume Party is from 5-11 p.m. today in front of NU2U Sports, 116 Custer St. The event is free to all ages but will have locally brewed beer for purchase by those of legal age. Go to the NU2U Street Dance and Costume Party Facebook event page for more information.