UNA students show support for local businesses during Lion Night

Students gather on Mobile Street during Lion Night 2014. The event introduces students to downtown businesses. “It’s not only great that we get to become familiar with the city and all it has to offer, but we also have a chance to meet other students,” said SGA President Nick Lang.

Students looking for something to do this Friday night, while staying close to campus, should make plans to attend Lion Night. The event, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, allows students to become familiar with Downtown Florence, support downtown businesses, enjoy local entertainment and possibly win some great prizes.

“Lion Night is a great way for UNA’s students to meet and interact with the City of Florence,” said SGA President Nick Lang. “It’s not only great that we get to become familiar with the city and all it has to offer, but we also have a chance to meet other students and get to know one another. Overall, it’s a wonderful event and students are sure to have a good time.”

This event allows students to become familiar with Florence and provides an opportunity to win a scholarship.

“SGA is giving away two scholarships, one for $500 and another for $1,000,” said SGA Secretary Jensen Joiner. “To get this, the students can go to each of the 30 participating businesses and they can enter their name into the drawing.”

Fifteen students will also have the chance to win $100 in Downtown Dollars. This money can only be used in the stores participating in Lion Night.

Students do not have to go to all 30 stores, but their chances to win increase with every entry.

All of the businesses participating offer more than the slips of paper for the drawings.

“They stay open later than normal,” Joiner said. “A lot of times they offer refreshments and discounts for UNA students.”

Sales Associate Channing Wynne said CoCo’s Boutique will have new arrivals coming in that day and anyone who makes a purchase will receive free lemonade and cookies.

In addition to the prizes and deals being offered, there will also be live entertainment.

“There will also be live music from Rachel Wammack and Jordy Searcy on Mobile Street from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Lang said.

“The Laff Co. will be providing entertainment at the Shoals Theater at 9 p.m. The admission is free to all UNA students.”

Lion Night also offers the opportunity to meet other students and forget about the books for awhile.

Sophomore Maria Sullivan recalls how Lion Night helped her adjust to being away from home.

“I was a little bit homesick,” she said. “My friends wanted me to get my mind off it and they were encouraging me to go. It was a great experience and I met new people that day.”

Lion Night will take place Friday, Aug. 21, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. The winners for the scholarships and Downtown Dollars will be announced at 8:30 p.m.