NWC roars back with Paint the Town Red

Posted 9/14/21

It was Sept. 10, 1946, that Northwest College officially began holding classes. At the time it had 100 full- and part-time students, and only three instructors. Its classrooms were borrowed from the …

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NWC roars back with Paint the Town Red

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It was Sept. 10, 1946, that Northwest College officially began holding classes. At the time it had 100 full- and part-time students, and only three instructors. Its classrooms were borrowed from the public school district.

A much larger Northwest College made its 75th birthday bash a community event on Friday, with the fourth annual Paint the Town Red party in downtown Powell. Hundreds of people flooded Bent Street for games, face painting, sports, roping challenges, music, dancing and food. 

“We started Paint the Town Red as a way to try to reach out to the community and our students so we could see what a great place we have to live,” said NWC Interim President Lisa Watson. “The students can learn about our town, and our town can learn about our students.” 

Besides a dozen food trucks, there were a number of booths for campus clubs, activities and classes.

They included the popular mobile simulator from the college’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) program, which simulates the look and feel of driving large vehicles in a range of conditions. Instructor Brian Beavers said the program has been so successful that there’s quite a waitlist for those wanting to enroll.

Powell performer Tia LeeAnn Ibarra sang a variety of covers and originals, her powerful voice filling Plaza Diane. She opened for Tris Munsick & the Innocents, who had the crowd dancing in the streets. 

NWC’s Gay Straight Alliance had a booth to let people know about the club, which supports the LBGT community on campus. Kim Kost, NWC academic success associate, is the new adviser for the group this year and wanted to let the students and community know about it. 

“COVID threw us through a loop last year, so the group shrunk. This is my first day of being the new adviser. So I’m really excited to get started,” Kost said.

Campus Ventures, a club for Christian worship, also had a booth. Member Ayla Kiiskinen said the group is a “Christian get-together.” She said they play games, worship and sometimes have speakers. The group meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., in the Trapper Room on campus. 

Paint the Town Red had to be canceled last year due to COVID, which eliminated most of NWC’s events. Friday’s event brought a large crowd and signaled loudly that the campus is getting back to normal.

Watson said the college will have activities all year long and invited the community to participate in those. 

“You are more than welcome to come on campus,” she said. “We would love to have our community members and our students paint our campus red this year.”

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