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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Crowd trickles into carnival

    Secondary Education freshman Alicia West (front) and 19-year-old Tucsonian Nick Remington ride the YoYo on the opening day of Spring Fling, Thursday April 6, 2006. (Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Secondary Education freshman Alicia West (front) and 19-year-old Tucsonian Nick Remington ride the YoYo on the opening day of Spring Fling, Thursday April 6, 2006. (Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    Spring Fling welcomed the Tucson community with colorful, brightly lit rides, blasting music, games and food, but the relatively small crowd was normal for the first day, officials said.

    Anita Velencia, a Pima Community College student, was laughing out loud as she got off the Mega Drop, which towers 145 feet in the air and drops at a speed of 70 mph in two seconds.

    “”It’s crazy, I thought I was gonna die or fall off,”” Valencia said.

    The 32nd annual Spring Fling carnival is organized by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, greek organizations and UA clubs. It’s expected to attract between 25,000 and 30,000 people.

    Admission is $5 for the general public or free with a CatCard. Carnival-goers can also buy a $20 wristband that provides unlimited access to rides.

    The carnival also attracted high school students like Julie Mutanansky, a senior at Catalina Foothills High School.

    Mutanansky was waiting in line to get on the Orbiter, an octopus-looking ride that spins people around.

    “”(The Orbiter) looks fantastic, it’s really fast and it flips you upside down. It’s very exciting,”” she said. “”I love these rides.””

    Mutanansky said the carnival was a little slow when she arrived, but it started to pick up as the night progressed.

    Other attendees like Alexis Beleyu, a creative writing student at Pima Community College, chose to come on the first night because it was wristband night and lines were shorter than usual.

    Beleyu said she had picked to ride the Inverter because it didn’t look as scary as other rides.

    “”It looks like you won’t puke your guts out right away,”” she said. She added that she and her friend were working their way up from the gentlest to the scariest rides.

    Some people were taking advantage of the short lines. Aileen Taboy, a UA psychology junior, said she and her boyfriend would ride the Ferris wheel because it was a ride that usually has a long line.

    Some UA students managing the booths also commented on the small number of people.

    Jason Kim, treasurer of the booth for Tau Beta Pi, a chemical engineering honorary, said the booth had only sold about 40 Eegees, which was fewer than what it had sold in the past.

    “”This is generally the slowest day, and

    Spring Fling

    General Admission: $5
    UA ID, Military ID, children under 7: Free
    Parking: $1

    Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight
    Wristband: $20, $5 discount with a jar of peanut butter or box of cereal

    Hours: noon to midnight
    No promotions

    Hours: Noon to 6 p.m.
    “”Fiesta Day””
    $1 general admission

    according to the weather report, the coldest day,”” he said.

    Kim added that sometimes some clubs lose money instead of making money.

    “”We hope that doesn’t happen (to us),”” he said.

    Even though there weren’t that many people at the carnival, UA students said they still had fun helping out.

    Missy Nagin, a nursing freshman working for Camp Wildcat, a nonprofit organization on campus, said she enjoyed participating and giving her time.

    “”It’s so much fun. What more fun can you have than screaming and yelling to get people to come and race (a) clown,”” she said.

    The Camp Wildcat booth consisted of clown cars that people could race by activating them by rolling balls into holes with different velocities.

    Students of the Pride Law Alliance, running the strongman sledgehammer game, invited people to their booth as they walked by.

    “”We’re waiting for the fraternity guys to try to impress their girlfriends,”” said Miranda Penner, a first-year law student.

    Jessica Williams, a microbiology senior and member of the National Society of Black Engineers, said she was having fun running a water game booth because she got to talk to all sorts of people, though not many had stopped by.

    “”So far it’s been OK, it has not been constant,”” she said referring to the flow of people.

    Brian Brecht, a Thrill Masters employee monitoring the Sling Shot, one of two new rides this year, said that only about six people had been brave enough to get on it.

    He said the two 165-foot towers launch the two-person seat 235 feet into the air at 100 mph.

    Brecht said he has worked at and travels with many carnivals, and that it was normal for the first day to be slow.

    He said he thought people weren’t getting on the Sling Shot because they saw it was a new ride and they were scared of it.

    “”It looks a lot worse than it is,”” he said.

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