Three large plastic tarps lined Helaman Fields on Friday, and a buzz of anticipation rose from a line of about 300 BYU students ready for the True Blue Foam event dressed in matching white shirts. Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” bumped from large speakers, and the crowd sang in unison while waiting for the event to begin.
The tradition of True Blue Foam started decades ago as mud football and tug-of-war. But the field was so terribly destroyed after these events that the event evolved over the years into a slip-and-slide foam experience.
“It’s tradition to slide down the True Blue slide,” BYU freshman Sydney Blake said as she waited in the growing line with her friends. “The posters about the foam and event are all over the place — that’s why we’re here. Are you even a Cougar if you don’t?”
Volunteers in orange vests lined the perimeter of Helaman Fields.
“I’ve always wanted to participate in the event, but it conflicted with my schedule,” BYU junior Jordan Miles said. “Thankfully I got to do it this year. We are going to have three slides and are expecting a turn-out bigger than any previous year.”
In the past, Brigham Young University’s True Blue Foam event has been a Homecoming exclusive occurrence.
“We are trying to move this away from homecoming,” said Logan Mann, student leadership coordinator and True Blue Foam organizer. “We wanted this to be more of a welcome back to school tradition and to give students something to look forward to in the new year.”
Mann further explained that the True Blue Foam has been a longstanding event that has always built comradery and school spirit.
“In 2005, we had 500 people come out for this. Last year it was 2,000. My goal is to break that record today,” he said.
Measuring by that goal, this year’s event was a success. After the final count of sliders, it was found that 2,075 BYU students attended this year’s event, breaking the record of any previous year.
The line of waiting participants wrapped around the outer fences of Helaman fields and extended back towards campus. The first inaugural slider was BYU advancement Vice President Matt Richardson, dressed in a pressed suit. Cheers erupted from the field as Richardson slid down in the True Blue Foam slide with other students.