The newest Fairfield tradition that began just last year, the bonfire, reached a towering thirty feet into the air on Wednesday night. Despite the windy, chilly atmosphere, fans were eager to support the Stags.

The soccer game was tied in overtime, but the bonfire was a Stag victory.

“The [record is] 1 win, 0 loses, and 1 tie; so far the bonfires have brought the games luck and no loses. There was a bigger success, bigger crowd than the last bonfire, and hopefully there will be an even bigger turnout in the next one,” said FUSA president Hutch Williams ’08.

One student enjoyed the school spirit at the game and bonfire.

“I think it helped bring more students to the game, events like that create more excitement and unity,” said Marty O’Sullivan ’07, who is a member of the Basketball Team.

“It should be a nice event that can help us build stronger student support,” O’Sullivan said.

The next bonfire will be on a Friday night instead of Wednesday, a change which Williams said will bring more people.

“So far there are two more planned, one on October 20th, for another soccer game and another on November 10th for the Home Opening Basketball game,” said Williams.

The bonfire was a good way for “bonding in the beginning of the year,” said Fred Cousins of Maszaro’s Security Company.

The year-old bonfire tradition is a collaborative group effort by FUSA, Stags in Stands, IRHA and many other student organizations as a way to make new traditions to replace all the beloved traditions that were taken away.

President of student-athletic fan club Stags in the Stands, Marco Abrosio ’07, and FUSA President Hutch Williams along with others planned began making the legal preparations during the summer in order to be able to have the conflagrant next to the soccer field for the bonfire. This involved obtaining permits from the Fairfield Fire Department, permission from the Town of Fairfield, as well as permission from the University.

According to Joseph Bouchard of the Fire Marshall Office, there were forty skids, wooden palletes, along with beams used for support to make the fire. The structure was in the shape of a house which “provided the perfect space to store all the fuel,” and “created the right air acoustics which made the fire burn straight up depending on the wind,” said Bouchard.

A Suppression team, on queue to contain the fire at any moment, along with three Fairfield Firefighters were present to make sure the fire did not get out of hand and to control the fire as much as possible.

Freshman Kara Ackerman said she “liked the bonfire” and “thought it was fun.” However, she said she was frightened by flying sparks of ash, and at one point, even “rushing away” from the fire.

Another student, Martha Maciasz ’10, said this was a “good experience for freshmen – an interesting sight, a game beforehand, a chance to have some Super Duper Weenie, pizza and an opportunity to venture out into non-‘freshmen only’ activities and mingle [with the] upperclassmen.”

Junior Ali Fell felt otherwise. “It seemed pretty crowded,” said Fell.

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