Ever since his first year at MSU, anthropology senior Ryan Reed has been a fixture at Nachofest.
When he was a freshman, Reed met a group of seniors who invited him to a party at their house one Saturday. They were showing him around because he would be living in the house the following year.
As soon as he showed up, the seniors greeted him by saying, “Hey, welcome — have some nachos.”
“It was a real community thing,” Reed said. “I met a lot of people that day. It’s fantastic.”
Reed knew he couldn’t miss Saturday’s Nachofest 2014 celebration, joining hundreds of other Spartans young and old for a cheesy tradition.
The latest installment of the nine-year-old tradition featured six live music performers, and Conrad’s Grill provided about 150 pounds of chips and 120 pounds of cheese to supply the snack the celebration was named for.
However, for the first time in Nachofest history, alcohol was not provided to attendees this year.
Police arrived at the house the Friday prior to Nachofest to let the hosts know they were aware the party would be going on, East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy said.
He said the way the party was initially marketed was illegal — the buy a t-shirt, eat and drink as much as you want method was viewed seen as selling alcohol without a liquor license.
The party’s hosts changed their approach and kept the nachos, but not the alcohol. Although alcohol was not provided at the party, those who were 21 and older were allowed to bring their own d rinks.
Police occasionally stopped by and passed the party to make sure it stayed under control, but never moved in to break up the festivities.
The backyard was filled to capacity. Attendees donned sombreros and wide smiles as they nibbled on nachos and blew off steam. Performers during the afternoon included Trace of Lime, Desmond Jones and Phyrayzer.
Some attendees retreated to the rooftop above the massive crowd.
Still, whether they stood on tables or the ground before the stage, party-goers danced to the live music acts.
“It’s known as the party of the year, so you kind of just have to make it out,” environmental geosciences senior Kelsey Prochazka said. “There was a lot of dancing and I loved that they had so many different music styles. It was just really cool.”
The party kicked off around 2:30 p.m. and lasted until about 7 p.m., when attendees began to trickle out of the backyard as the music continued to play.
Tables had been dismantled and trash littered the deserted yard by the time the night came to a close, but MSU alumnus Ben Thomas, one of the hosts of Nachofest, said the wreckage was worth it.
Once any damages are paid for, the rest of the proceeds made from Nachofest 2014 will be donated to the Lacey Holsworth Foundation.
“We threw it to have a great party and had a chance to help the community,” Thomas said. “That’s the entire spirit of Nachofest.”