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CBU students display talents at Woo Fest

Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 29, 2016) – Mix a snippet of "American Idol" with a bit of "America's Got Talent" and you get the idea of Woo Fest at California Baptist University. More than 1,100 students attended the event held at the Van Dyne Gym on Feb. 26. The Woo Fest featured male students showcasing their talents, not for the admiration of a television audience, but to "Woo" the ladies at CBU.

"I noticed that women were complaining that we only had TWIRP," said Jay Stovall, director of cultural and commuter programs, referring to The Woman Is Required to Pay week, where women ask men out. "The guys didn't have anything to step up and do to win them over or spoil them in some sort of way. Thus birthed the idea of Woo Fest. It's unbelievable the response that it has received over the years."

Woo Fest has grown since debuting in 2009, when some 230 students watched the inaugural event. With a potential audience now numbering in the thousands, prospective performers must audition a month prior to Woo Fest in order to receive an invitation to the event. The staff of Residence Life narrowed down the performances through the audition and selected 10 routines that featured singing, poetry and various stage tricks.

"It was just a really fun night. It felt like prom again getting all dressed up with the girls on my hall," said Adrianne Canady, a marketing freshman. "Once we got there, everything was so beautifully decorated and the acts were hilarious. I can't wait to go next year."

Stovall said that the evening has become a spectacle.

"It's incredible and the memories of seeing guys step out of their comfort zones and display the gifts God has given them has been awesome," Stovall said. "It's just been a great way to bring the campus together and celebrate the gifts that God has given these guys and create a lifelong experience not just for the performers but for the audience as well."