The Cross College Alliance held a five school function on Lemon Avenue Sept. 20.
The Cross College Alliance celebrated new and returning college students Friday night at its Downtown Getdown Block Party.
Students partied on Lemon Avenue between Main Street and First Street as they celebrated the new school year. The festival invited students from New College, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida Sarasota-Manatee and The Ringling/FSU.
"This is a way for [college students] to come, have a good time, get off campus and welcome back the school year," said Josephine Eisenberg, assistant to the Cross College Alliance manager.
The Cross College Alliance connects Sarasota's five universities through initiatives like access to shared academic courses and student engagement projects such as Downtown Getdown. Linda de Mello, Cross College Alliance manager, said the purpose of the event was to introduce college students to the downtown area and to help them feel at home.
"[The block party is] part of the plan to bring the students from their colleges to downtown... and to get the students motivated to go out into the community," de Mello said.