Helen C. House Party!

August 26, 2016

The 8th annual Helen C. House Party at College Library is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15, from 8pm to 11pm. The library will be transformed with non-stop action, entertainment, games and free food. An official Wisconsin Welcome event, everyone on campus is invited to #seehelenparty!

Each year the house party features carnival games and prizes, balloon art, team trivia, face painting, video games, arts & crafts & hacks, a retro photo booth, and live entertainment – all this in addition to free food – pizza, cotton candy, popcorn, and more!

Participants must navigate the rope course

New this year is a timed obstacle course which converts Room 1191 (which normally houses the library’s Main Collection) into a series of challenges testing both physical and mental dexterity. Next door in Room 1193, staff will set out featured board games from the library’s circulating collection. Stop by with a group of friends for a quick round of Settlers of Catan, Wits and Wagers, Munchkin, Boss Monster, Pandemic, or Bananagrams. Also on hand will be a giant Jenga set for larger-than-life fun.

For those with Etsy in their hearts, the Arts & Crafts section of the House Party provides an opportunity to make custom book-marks, pom-pom bouquets, or to decorate a tote bag. Party attendees can create personal buttons with the library’s button-maker or, new this year, make custom key chains using their favorite button designs. Sharing Room 1250, members of Sector 67 will showcase their 3D printer and allow visitors to try their hand at a drone obstacle course.  Animation-stations on loan from The Bubbler of Madison Public Library provide an additional creative outlet.

Balloon hats by Lochlan Masters

A variety of performers on the Main Stage will not only entertain people waiting in the food line, but share their diverse talents. Performers include Bellydancing UW, Omulu Capoeira, The Understudies, and Madison Area Jugglers.

Meanwhile, Room 2191 is transformed into carnival-central with dozens of games and a chance to win prizes. In addition to Team Trivia, other options include Flickin’ Chicken, Plinko, Hit the Hits, Ring Toss, Pick-a-Duck, and Weenie Roast. (Thanks to It’s Your Party for game rentals.)

A Retro Photo Booth in Room 2250 allows students the chance to time-travel into iconic campus photos, while an Occulus Rift demo in the adjacent space provides a glimpse into the future.

College Library is grateful for support for this event from both the campus and community.  It would not be possible without subsidies from the Center for the First-Year Experience and the Gaus Fund. We appreciate food donations from Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Pepsi, Canteen Vending, Ian’s Pizza, Milio’s, Rocky Rococo’s, Insomnia Cookies, and Wings Over Madison.


As an official Welcome Week event, the Helen C. House Party encourages students to get acquainted with College Library and each other. Last year nearly 2,000 students attended and we hope even more stop by for all or part of the evening’s festivities. To receive all of the latest updates, follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and new this year – Snapchat!

Food Logos for Web-Final