Berks PSU alums prepare for Fiesta Bowl party

Everyone's invited, even Michigan fans

SPRING TWP., Pa. - John Ginder remembers where he was during last year’s last second loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.

"I can remember being here last year, sitting right there, on the edge of my seat," said Ginder, the president of the Berks County chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, pointing to a spot in the middle of the bar at P.J. Whelihan's in Spring Township.

As he's putting together the Fiesta Bowl watch party for Berks County Penn Staters on Saturday, he's hoping to witness a different outcome.

"I think we're gonna beat them by two touchdowns," he predicted.

P.J. Whelihan's will play host to hundreds of members of blue and white nation Saturday. Hillary Button is a manager and event coordinator at the establishment.

"We can fit over 700 people. We have over 400 seats in here. Penn State brings an amazing atmosphere," she said.

It's an atmosphere that, despite being hours from Happy Valley, the alumni association is doing its best to recreate all that is Penn State.

On the menu?

"Ice cream from the Creamery as well as the world famous stickies," Ginder shared.

Also on hand will be a staple of Penn State's student outreach.

"Berks campus, the students from the THON group will help," said Ginder.

The Nittany Lion is also scheduled to make an appearance. In short, for a few hours Saturday, a part of Berks County will be more like Beaver Stadium.

"Being here, hearing stories of people talking, it's almost like you don't have to go to State College. It's here," he said.

One alum even showed up early.

"Everybody's gonna be fired up. It's going to be a good time. Go Penn State, 100%," said Ryan Stover, a 2012 PSU Berks alum.

So who is invited? Everybody, even some you might not expect.

"If you're a Michigan fan, you can kinda come out," Ginder said. "Just wear Penn State stuff."

The festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. There is no cover charge and there will be raffles and prize giveaways.

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