Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 1, 2019

Costume Bingo

MAC had a high attendance of Manchester students at the annual costume-bingo event.

Photo provided by Bonnie Wong

Annual Costume Bingo Tradition Succeeds Again

Carly Greaves


Halloween-style creativity and competitive spirit were shown at the Costume Bingo held in Haist Commons on Oct. 25.

This yearly event is hosted by the Manchester Activities Council, a student-run organization that brings exciting events and fun activities to the campus. The Costume Bin-go served both as Halloween-themed entertainment and as part of the ongoing food drive #UCanCrushHunger. In exchange for a donation of canned goods, students were given bingo boards and the opportunity to win great prizes.

As the time for the event drew near, a sea of costumed students surged toward the Haist Commons. The wide space had been packed full with long wooden tables and pale yellow chairs. As the participants took their seats, the sheer variety of costumes became apparent. The outfits varied from simple to complex, homemade to store-bought. The cast of “Scooby Doo” sat alongside Pac-Man and the ghosts from the video game “Pac-Man.” Minnie Mouse chatted with Rosie the Riveter and the Grinch. Five different people had come as the superhero Spider-Man.

Excitement filled the air as students waved at their friends, congratulating each other on their costumes. The chattering crowd went quiet as the microphone crackled and the event officially began. Eager contestants received instructions on how the game would play out: the announcer would call out coordinates for the players to cover. When someone declared “Bingo,” they would earn one of over 60 prizes. These awards included Manchester-branded clothing, movies, video game consoles and a 43-inch television. With such rewards on the line, the students were ready to play.

The contestants quickly settled into the game. The players focused on their bingo boards, their heads rising and falling whenever new coordinates were announced. Excited whispers and frustrated groans permeated the space, occasionally disrupted by a jubilant shout of “Bingo!” While competition was clearly in the air, the atmosphere remained friendly and encouraging. Bingos were often met with enthusiastic applause, contestants congratulating their successful friends. In between these victories, contestants shared salty snacks and savory sweets, clearly appreciating each other’s company just as much as they were enjoying the game. “I like it more so for the socialization than the prizes,” said Ava McVey, a junior dressed as a ghost. “It’s a good time to get together and look at costumes.”

The participants were given an even better chance to look at costumes during the intermission, when it was announced that there would be a costume competition. The competition had two sections: the best individual costume and the best group costume. The winners were chosen by the participants, who voted by shouting and cheering when their favorite costume was pointed at by the announcer. After much screaming and clapping, the best costumes were decided. Emily Lynn, senior, won the best individual costume award with her interpretation of Darla from “Finding Nemo.” Fellow seniors Kalyn Flora and Gavin Eads earned the group award with their creative costume “Beer Pong.”

The evening went on, the pile of prizes slowly shrinking. After almost three hours of bingo-playing, costume-viewing and prize-winning, the last award was won and the contestants were dismissed. Walking out into the chilly night, the costumed players were tired but happy with how their night was spent. “I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Alexis Quick, a first-year dressed as Donna from “Mamma Mia!” “It had a lot of great prizes and gave everyone a chance to win.”

McVey cheerfully agreed. “Yeah, I’ll be back next year for sure,” she asserted.

With the promise of costume creativity and valuable prizes, the Costume Bingo is a Halloween tradition at Manchester that will not be spirited away any time soon.