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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Spring Fling opens today

    EVAN CARAVELLI / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Derek Jobst, 10, takes a ride on the YoYo at Spring Fling Saturday afternoon.
    EVAN CARAVELLI / Arizona Daily Wildcat Derek Jobst, 10, takes a ride on the “YoYo” at Spring Fling Saturday afternoon.

    The 32nd annual Spring Fling carnival, featuring two new rides and a jalapeÇño-eating contest, starts today at the Rillito Downs Park.

    The carnival, put together by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, greek organizations and UA clubs, is expected to attract between 25,000 and 30,000 people, said Katelyn Mulligan, marketing director.

    The carnival will have a couple of new rides this year – the slingshot and the techno jump, Mulligan said.

    “”We don’t know how to explain (the techno jump), people are just going to have to come and see it,”” she said.

    There will be a total of 30 rides, 16 games and 46 UA clubs and organizations running the game and food booths. Mulligan added there will also be several independent bands all week as well as a jalapeÇño-eating contest tomorrow funded by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

    Mulligan said UA organizations participate because it’s fun and to help raise money for their organizations.

    “”All money raised goes to the clubs. They keep 100 percent after their cost,”” she said.

    Mulligan said it takes a whole year to plan the carnival, which receives $190,000 granted by the university to ASUA.

    “”UA gives a loan every year to organize the event. We pay it back every year through general ticket fares,”” she said.

    Elizabeth Soltero, co-chair of the Chicano organization MEChA, said the group will manage a Mexican food booth and will split the proceeds with the restaurant Pico De Gallo, which is providing the food.

    “”It’s our major fundraiser for our Youth Empowerment Conference,”” she said. The conference is held every fall to encourage high school students to attend college.

    Spring Fling brings in money to the individual organizations, but it also brings in money on a larger scale.

    “”We gross over half a million (dollars), but that includes all the earnings of the carnival, like the booths,”” Mulligan said.

    However, organizers are striving to make more, she said.

    “”The goal every year is to do better than the previous year,”” she said.

    Even though the carnival makes money for student organizations, students aren’t putting on the carnival just to benefit the UA.

    “”This year we are partnering with Tucson Community Food Bank and other organizations to help (them) out as well,”” Mulligan said.

    Mulligan said the food bank is mostly in need of peanut butter and cereal for the food bank’s “”Snak Pak”” program. People who attend the event today and tomorrow and donate food will get a $5 discount on wristbands, she added.

    Some greek organizations such as Delta Delta Delta will pair up with others to gather money for their philanthropies. Ashley Forsline, Tri Delta president, said the chapter will have hamburgers and veggie burgers at its booth.

    “”We have had all the food donated by The Good Egg, so all the proceeds that we make will go to Phi Kappa Psi’s philanthropy and our philanthropy,”” Forsline said.

    Tri Delta donates all the money generated by its philanthropies to St. Jude’s Research Hospital at the end of the year, she said. The sorority expects to make about $2,000 to $3,000, she said.

    Spring Fling doesn’t just benefit those that make money at the carnival, it also gives some UA student bands the chance to be in the community spotlight.

    David Saunders, backup vocalist and lead guitarist for his band The Broken Half, said the “”pop-indie”” band has benefited in the past from playing at the carnival because people become more aware of its music each time.

    Saunders, a marketing senior, said that when the band played in the past, people who watched them at Spring Fling also came to other shows later on.

    “”I’m just kinda hoping for exposure. It’s another show to play, to keep us going,”” he said.

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