The Woo Card and all it has to Offer

Posted on April 12, 2012 by

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By Adam Straughn

 

There are many reasons why students are drawn to the numerous colleges in Worcester, including its convenient central location in New England as well as the affordable housing and living costs in comparison to other cities in the area such as Boston or Providence. For some students however, one of the biggest draws of this diverse and intriguing city is the thriving culture that provides students and non-students alike with a myriad of places to eat, drink, be entertained, or even entertain others with ones own talents, all while being surrounded by other like-minded individuals.

While Worcester does not necessarily have the best societal reputation (GoLocal.com reported Worcester to have one of the lowest median incomes and the highest property crime rate) there is no denying that it has plenty to offer in the realms of art and entertainment. Much of this has to do with the clustering of college institutions and its lasting reputation a hub for cultural events and social gatherings.

When touring the campus as a prospective student or even during freshman orientation (granted that one is not transfer student), your guide most likely mentioned all the cultural advantages that the city of Worcester has to offer. They probably mentioned some of the most popular event venues such as DCU Center, Hanover Theatre, and Worcester Palladium in Downtown Worcester as well as some of the nightclubs that are frequented by many students on the weekends such as Club U, Mahoney’s, and Leitrim’s, all of which are on Park Ave. But in addition to these most popular destinations and most frequented bars, there are many other places to visit and much more to do in the city without spending all of that student loan money on expensive concert tickets or alcohol.

As a freshman, every student was given a discount card called the ‘WOO Card’ which aimed to attract students to get out and experience new things throughout the city of Worcester. While the WOO Card was created with intentions to increase traffic at local businesses, but there was also a secondary motive to encourage students to venture off campus to have a more enriching college experience. This WOO Card provides card-holders with discounts at many entertainment venues, restaurants, retailers, hotels, transportation providers, as well as other cultural destinations throughout the city.

Like most other rewards cards, the more one uses this WOO Card, the more points one can rack up on it, leading to even more savings or even additional monthly prizes. Using the WOO card on Monday-Thursday earns 2 Woo Points and Friday-Sunday earns one point. Gifts and additional savings can be obtained once the certain thresholds of 10, 25, 50, and 100 points are met. Every level has its own gifts and prizes to reward you with which change periodically, so the more you “WOO” the more you win

This act of visiting local businesses has recently inherited its own unique vocabulary in our city’s local vernacular. Now “WOOing” is no longer understood in its old sense, defined as “attempting to gain favor, support, or love from another person,” but instead has become common day social lingo between city-goers. Seriously, don’t be too surprised if “R U WOOing 2nite” appears on your cell phone screen as a text message one of these days. Of course, you can “Woo” in both senses of the term at the same time; By “WOOing,” or taking a date out into the city for some cultural event, you may also be wooing them in the old sense at the same time! The WOO Card is for the creative types, so get creative and take your dates somewhere different for a change and save some money while doing so!

 

So now that you know what the city of Worcester is all about, what the Woo Card is, and what you can accomplish with it, here is a list of some suggestions coming from someone who has put his fair share of points onto the card while attending Worcester State. And for the record, no, I am not being paid by to advertise the WOO card; I would just like to see more people taking advantage of all the different things that are offered in the community and to get some people off there couches and into the city to support all of the local acts that perform on any given night. I will be out there “WOOing” it up, so come meet me in the Woo!

 

The DCU Center – The Worcester Sharks season is nearing its end and the Woo Card can get you $3.00 off the already affordable tickets. On April 17, Day Glow: Life In Color comes to town so find some white clothes that will inevitably be destroyed! The Woo Card gives discounts to select events, ranging from trade shows in the convention center to world-class performances in the arena. Visit DCUCenter.com to see who or what is coming to town.

 

The Hanover Theatre  – Award winning acts of all kinds in a first class venue. Comedy acts, concerts of many types, inspirational speakers, Broadway plays, ballets, and much, much more. In June, the Blue Man Group will come and get things real messy. Almost all events are discounted with a Woo Card. Go to TheHanoverTheatre.org/shows for a show list.

 

Mechanics Hall – Talk about acoustics! This place is amazing!!! I’ve been here twice and have been blown away both times. The building and its architecture is a masterpiece and the orchestras that I had the pleasure to hear sounded absolutely phenomenal 15% off in the Gift Shop with the Woo Card. Check out the calendar of events at MechanicsHall.org/tickets/calender

 

Worcester Palladium – Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I decided on coming to WSU; the Palladium houses some of the best up and coming rock, rap, and metal acts on an old at an affordable rate. There is New England Metal and Hardcore Festival which is in its 14th year. This year it starts on Friday April 20th and runs through Sunday April 21st with headliners that include Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and The Black Dahlia Murder among nearly fifty other bands. See the full event lists at thePalladium.net/events.

 

If you are going to NEMAHF, or even if you aren’t, you may like the Higgens Armory Museum which has some of the most epic and authentic medieval weapons and armor in North America. If one is truly a tough guy or girl, there is also sword fighting lessons and numerous other workshops that relate to the old ways of chivalrous combat. There is plenty of knowledge to obtain about weaponry, knighthood, the Viking way of life, and much more through its collection of art and artifacts. Use of the WOO Card saves you $5.00! Learn more at Higgens.org

 

Moving away from Main Street, one turn away on Pleasant Street there is Tammany Hall which is known for it’s hippie-like environment on some nights, and it’s rock and roll mentality on others. Tuesday Night they have Dub Step night, and every weekend there are new acts performing on the decently sized stage, ranging from Hip-Hop to Heavy Metal and everything in between. Right next door from Tammany Hall there are the clubs In-Style and Club International both which offer a bit of a different atmosphere than Tammany Hall, and emanate the vibes of the proto-typical night-club scene.

 

Staying on Pleasant Street, about halfway between the intersections of Park Ave. and Main Street is The Raven, which is a nice hall for local acts and the weekly open mics. Speaking of open mics, keep mozying down Pleasant Street and on the corner you will find Leitrims. Get your tails down there on Wednesday nights to see Worcester State’s own Jake Mattison tear it up on guitar. He takes requests and plays originals so get there and show some support! He also plays at Biaggio’s Grill a block over on select Thursday nights. Biaggio’s, which is a nice Italian joint on the weekdays, turns into a comedy venue on Friday and Saturday nights too for Dick’s Beantown Comedy Escape. Come in for a laugh, a bite to eat, and a beverage to drink.

 

 

Over at Jillian’s on Grove Street there are plenty of pool tables and arcade games to keep you busy if there is not a live band playing on Friday or Saturday. Flock of Assholes, one of the best cover bands in the land, frequent Jillian’s every few weeks. Snatch Alley also shows up on Wednesdays and Thursdays for Pong tournaments for people 18+. While the field is experienced, the challenge of winning the cash prizes awarded could definitely be worth the hours of practice it takes to win. Come challenge me, I dare you!

 

The Lucky Dog Music also has open mics on Tuesdays through Thursdays and also has more professional acts on the weekends. The Lucky Dog screams Rock and Roll and I’ve seen many of great acts play on the stage here, usually for a cover charge though. Other highlights of Green Street include Dive Bar and The Banner.

 

Ralph’s Rock Diner over in Chadwick Square is also a great place to see some great local or up and coming acts. They have something interesting going on literally every single night except Sundays. Thursday nights is Ralph’s Metal Thursday which is now up to it’s 160th event. Monday nights are also fun for The Dirty Gerund Poetry Show that starts around 8 p.m. In fact, I’m finishing up this article right now sitting in a booth at Ralph’s Diner and I just ordered a plate of fries.

 

I think you get the main idea I’m going for here…there is always something to do any night of the week in the city of Worcester. The Woo Card is a great way to save money and not going out and experiencing the culture, to me at least, is a great way to waste your time.

 

To get yourself a FREE College WOO CARD either Google “Woo Card” or go to Worcestermass.org and navigate yourself from there. To learn more about the cultural scene I suggest a few publications and websites such as Worcester Mag, The Pulse, The Pheonix, WorcesterMass.org, WorcesterScene.org, and last but not least, WSU’s Student Voice! I’ll see you in the city! Get WOOing!

 

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