Counting down to THON: What you need to know

UNIVERSITY PARK – As THON weekend quickly approaches, over 16,500 volunteers prepare for the 46-hour dance marathon. For the duration of THON, State College will be renamed “The City of THON” in support of Penn State students’ fight against pediatric cancer. Whether you’re coming to cheer on dancers, or you just want to see what THON is all about, here’s everything you need to know for the weekend.

When and Where:

Begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16 and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.


Doors will open Friday at 4 p.m. Those who are on the entrance plan with an organization will be allowed in first. All other spectators will be allowed to enter following the entrance plan line.

When you get to the BJC, head to Will Call, between Gate A and Gate B, to get a wristband. You can then enter in Gate A or B, where your wristband will be scanned when you walk in.

You are allowed to bring in a small purse or a drawstring backpack, which are subject to search by the Rules and Regulations Committee. No food or drinks are allowed in, but you can, and is strongly recommended, bring an empty reusable water bottle.

When you leave the BJC, your wristband will be rescanned and it will no longer be valid. You must go back to Will Call when you return to get a new wristband.


When the BJC reaches capacity varies from year to year, but, generally, it is easiest to get in early Saturday morning and early Sunday morning. Pep rally typically happens some time Saturday night and is one of the busiest times.  It is also difficult to get in Sunday afternoon as the final four hours of THON approaches.


If the BJC is at capacity when you arrive, you can still head to Will Call to get a wristband. From there, you will be put on a digital line and THON will send out updates every hour on the hour with the range of wristband barcode numbers that can enter. When your barcode number is called, you have 45 minutes to return to the BJC to scan in. Updates can be found at, and on Twitter at @EventSafety_FTK and @THON. You can also sign up for updates by texting “BJC” to 50555.

 In the BJC:

After entering the BJC, you can head to any section where you can find a place to stand. Be cautious of mentioning anything time related, as most dancers and some student volunteers wish to not know the time. Every hour the Line Dance will take place, led by Dancer Relations captains on stage. This is a five-minute stretch routine that encourages everyone to move around and stretch. Sometimes it takes awhile to get it down, but feel free join in and learn the moves!


Spectators can park in the general parking lots, which are shaded blue on the following map.



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