It's rivalry week at USC and the celebrations are climbing to their peak: Conquest. McCarthy Quad will be riddled with food trucks, photo booths and fans from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Thursday night.
Although Conquest is only one night, the Trojan Knights have been dedicating their time the entire week to protecting a USC icon. The Knights have camped out 24/7 in front of Tommy Trojan after wrapping him in duct tape to keep him safe from any UCLA sabotage that may occur during the week.
"Last night it was cold, lonely and sad," said Trojan Knights President Logan Baron.
The Knights who braved the cold last night were treated with baklava this morning from USC's first lady Niki Nikias. Baklava is a traditional Turkish pastry made with filo dough, chopped nuts and held together with sticky, sweet honey.
In previous years, USC Hospitality and La Taquiza have provided the Trojan Knights with meals every day throughout the week. This year, the Knights said no one aside from Nikias has brought them food.
The Conquest concert has featured major musical guests in the past like Childish Gambino, Jason Derulo, Cashmere Cat, Miguel, Big Boi and Phantogram.
This year, electronic R&B artist AlunaGeorge will headline the concert and has USC students excited. Majid Jordan, a Canadian duo, also features electronic R&B music.
"Majid Jordan's music is beautiful and warm, and always has the ability to make me relax or put me in a good mood," said USC sophomore Dinah Pourbaba.
Along with the concert comes the tradition of burning a giant wooden portrait of the UCLA Bruin bear, an iconic event for many USC students.
"I absolutely can't wait for the burning of the bear at conquest," said USC student Maddie Price. "It's such a great display of school spirit at SC and for sure one of the best traditions of rivalry week."
Emily Wu, graphic designer for USC Campus Activities and a member of the Conquest Committee, said her team has been waiting for this day to come.
"It's surreal to think that today is finally here, and that tonight we will see USC students coming to live out what we have planned and prepared for their experience," Wu said.
Whether you're most excited for AlunaGeorge, the food trucks around campus, or the UCLA game itself, Conquest is sure to get you ready for Saturday. USC will take on the UCLA Bruins Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at the Rose Bowl.
Reach Staff Writer Rachel Frain here.