DES MOINES, Iowa — Drake University students participated in the school’s most colorful tradition over the weekend.

Drake’s Painted Street, the section of Carpenter Avenue that divides Cowles Library and Jewett Residence Hall, received its annual coat of paint on Sunday ahead of the Drake Relays. Hundreds of students used their rollers and brushes to leave their mark on the road.

“I am very happy and proud of everything I do here,” said Rachel Jalloway, a second-year student at Drake. “It’s nice to share that passion, and to do it in such a fun and creative way.”

The Painted Street represented a mosaic of Drake’s clubs and communities, as they all got to paint their own individual square. Some students say that representation helped them choose the university in the first place.

“I remember I was a freshman in high school when I saw it and I said, ‘That is the coolest thing ever, I need to do that,'” said first-year student Maria Husting. “”I wanted to be in a school that focused on traditions and organizational diversity. So many people are involved in this, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

“Drake really does care about its organizations and highlighting them,” Jalloway said. “The fact that we are allowed to have an entire street dedicated to them in such a central part of campus is great. My younger sister even said she liked Drake because of this and I said, ‘You should.'”

The theme of this year’s painting was “Glow Together,” because this represented the first Painted Street since COVID restrictions faded away on campus.

“We wanted a theme that would embody the idea of bringing everybody back together,” said Drake Relays student organizer Ashley Johnson, a second-year student at the university. “We were playing around with the idea of light, and what it meant to be at the light of such a dark last three years.”

Drake University is also bringing back its traditional paint fight following the lifting of COVID restrictions.