Meijer Mania brings enjoyment back to student shopping sixth year in a row
Nothing could stop James Cowley from claiming total victory as he quickly obliterated a large bowl of Fruity Pebbles in a cereal-eating contest at the sixth annual Meijer Mania Friday.
The Flint graduate student quickly wiped the milk from his lips as he collected a $25 gift card he won from the store competing against nine other Central Michigan University students who came out to shop at the event.
“I came ready,” Cowley said shortly after claiming his prize. “I’ve been hungry all day and love Fruity Pebbles.”
From 8 p.m. to midnight, more than 2,000 students from CMU campus, including many freshmen, were given free bus rides to the Meijer to take care of their shopping needs and have fun playing games and hanging out with friends.
Throughout the store, students were handed free samples of various products and food items by employees wearing their best CMU apparel.
Between the tables loaded with free items, students could take a break from shopping by playing games such as tossing a football or going for a high score at an arcade-style hoops game.
In the middle of the store, a disk jockey pumped out as many popular tunes as he could to get the students up and moving on the dance floor the store set up.
“This is pretty cool,” said Ypsilanti freshman Emily Boss. “I like (the event) a lot. It’s so different.”
Outside the store, students were offered free hotdogs while on the other side of the parking lot a large semi-trailer with TVs and next-generation videogame systems were set up for students to enjoy before entering the store.
The Mount Pleasant Meijer was one of 23 stores in the region hosting a late-night shopping event for college students.
“Our Meijer Mania events generate a lot of energy among the students, who are embarking on a new experience,” said Senior Director of Promotions and Sponsorships at Meijer Cathy Cooper in a written statement. “They bring their creativity and school spirit, and share the fun with their family and friends through social networks like Vine, Instagram and Twitter. We are pleased to partner with so many colleges and universities to help ease the transition for these students.”