Bon fire jumping, students hanging from trees and screams of “Tar….Heels!”—that was the scene on Franklin Street Thursday night following UNC’s defeat over archrival Duke.
In true tradition, students rushed from the Dean Dome to Franklin Street in droves following the victory, shutting down streets in celebration of the Tar Heel’s eight straight win.
Seniors Ana Balta and Megan Blaton, who were painted up head–to-toe in Carolina Blue, stormed Franklin Street following the win. They said it was the “craziest” experience they had ever been a part of.
“Insanity. So much energy!” Balta said. Blaton added, “It was crazy. We couldn’t even get through the crowds! Everybody was pushing, but it wasn’t in a hateful way. It was jovial, and everyone was so amped and pumped!”
Several bon fires illuminated the street, as students dared to jump over the flames near the intersection of Franklin and Columbia.
“Everyone was screaming and cheering, ‘UNC!’ Blaton said.
“We started the Alma Mater. We salsa danced. We did it all,” Balta exclaimed.
Junior Firas Quran said the crowd grew so enormous that at times he could barely move. Making it up to the celebration, he shared, was just as challenging.
“I ran all the way from South Campus which is really far away, and I am really out of shape,” he said. “It was really hard, and I almost threw up!”
For many students, it was their first time attending a game of the Tobacco Road Rivalry. Balta and Megan Blaton said they stormed the court after the final whistle blew, signaling the 74-66 upset over the team all UNC fans love to hate.
“We are both seniors so this is all that we have wanted since we have been here. We put our all into it,” Balta said. “[Down in the Dean Dome] people we grunting and knocking over chair. People were falling down but other people were lifting them up. It was insane!”
Back on Franklin Street, the road was reopened and the bonfires were extinguished by about 12:45 a.m.