Reality TV star hosts intimate event in E.L.
Leaving behind the pizza parlors and night clubs of New Jersey’s coast, MTV’s “Jersey Shore” cast member Jenni “JWOWW” Farley traveled to East Lansing on Friday to experience the city’s nightlife.
The reality TV star hosted a special evening at The Landshark Bar and Grille, 101 E. Grand River Ave., and said she was glad to be able to visit a city similar to the one in which she grew up.
“East Lansing’s cool,” she said. “It reminds me of where I grew up — Albany, New York — like a college-themed town with the local bars and the strip.”
Because East Lansing is filled with thousands of college-aged students, Ashley Phelps, director of marketing and events for the entertainment firm that owns The Landshark, Elevated Endeavors, said it was an ideal place to bring the celebrity, who is popular among young people.
“We think that the students will have a really great reaction to (the event) and will be really excited to see her,” Phelps said before the event.
At this 21-and-older event, Farley was available to mingle and take pictures with her fans, which typically does not happen at events she hosts.
Due to the fact that “Jersey Shore” has become such a huge phenomenon, Phelps said most of the events Farley attends have large crowds — sometimes with as many as 1,000 people in attendance — and she only is able to make a brief appearance.
“The event is special because it’s more of an intimate meet and greet,” Phelps said.
After the line for photographs died down, attendees made their way to the dance floor, where DJ Rodney P performed his unique mix of hip-hop beats and live violin, and from which Farley could be seen onstage.
For Lansing resident Josh Morales, meeting Farley was a dream come true.
“I never thought that I was going to be able to meet (Farley), and now I know her,” he said.
Morales has been watching “Jersey Shore” regularly since the show first aired in 2009 and said Farley is one of his favorite cast members.
“I love her,” he said. “She’s probably the most cool person on ‘Jersey Shore’ right now.”
Ashley Neal, who is a psychology senior at Baker College in Owosso, Mich., said she took a road trip from Corunna, Mich., to be at Friday’s event.
“It was well worth it because you don’t see many famous people around (Michigan),” she said.
Once she learned of the event on Facebook, she said she purchased VIP tickets, which cost $50 and allowed her to get her photograph taken with Farley. General admission tickets could be purchased for $30.
Morales also purchased VIP tickets and was photographed with his idol and able to spend time with her briefly. He said he was excited to be able to converse with Farley and cannot wait to post his photographs with her on Facebook.
“It was very nice to meet her,” he said. “She’s really nice and was very enjoyable.”
Farley said she was impressed with East Lansing’s nightlife, which was vibrant despite the chilly weather that often negatively affects the nightlife on the Jersey Shore.
“I think (East Lansing) is getting more action than the shore is right now,” she said. “I wouldn’t be caught dead at the shore right now. I can tell out here, (the partying takes place) all year round.”
Following her appearance in East Lansing, Farley visited Wayside Central, 2000 S. Mission St., in Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Saturday night, completing her brief tour of Michigan.
Farley said she was excited to be able to make a couple appearances in the state — one where she knows she has a lot of fans.
“I’m happy to be here,” she said. “I just love the fact that Michigan loves me and wants me here.”