Spring Fling cancellation: How an entire graduating class has never experienced Spring Fling

Kiara Adams

The University of Arizona’s Spring Fling was once the largest student-run carnival in the nation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spring Fling has not been held since 2019.

Spring Fling 2023 was canceled back in November. The cancellation came as a shock to many due to the relaxed COVID-19 restrictions across campus and a return to normal in the classroom.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona stated the cancellation of the 2023 event was due to the organization being “significantly understaffed, navigating internal changes and actively rebuilding [its] infrastructure,” according to the group’s Instagram post.

With this cancellation for the fourth consecutive year, the graduating class of 2023 has gone all four years of their college career without ever having experienced a Spring Fling Carnival, a fact which has changed the way some students look at why they even came to the UA.

“I was really disappointed that we never got to have it in our college experience,” senior Jake Donnelly said. “Being an out-of-state student and hearing that it was the largest student carnival in the U.S. and not being able to experience it for myself was really disheartening, especially because it was a big selling point in my decision to come here.”

According to a Facebook post made by the official Spring Fling page, students in 2021 were offered the opportunity to have a taste of Spring Fling in the form of boxes filled with Spring Fling-related items such as information on our years of deep tradition “pre-packaged fair food items, goodies, and all things Spring Fling.”

Since this taste of Spring Fling campaign back in 2021, nothing else has been given to UA students as a reminder of what once was a huge annual tradition of the university.

This lack of the Spring Fling carnival saddened UA seniors and Tucson locals Caitlin Manjarre and Noah Rios because they were not given the chance to experience the festival as UA students.

“I was only able to see Spring Fling from an outside perspective,” Rios said. “I always wanted to go, but I felt as though only when I went to the UA could I fully embrace and brag about the university.”

Manjarre agreed with the sentiment about how special being able to experience Spring Fling as a UA student was to her.

“In high school, I was so excited to be able to be a part of it,” Manjarre said. “I also missed the environment Spring Fling draws. Tucson is so special, especially this time of year. Spring Fling screams end of the semester and it’s been very different without it. Especially when I try to explain it to my friends who came to the U of A from out-of-state. I really can’t wait for it to come back though.”

If the current plan for Spring Fling 2024 stands, it will be the 50th anniversary of the festival. Until then, students are left in limbo wondering when or if the festival will officially come back.

“I just hope that students get to experience this amazing thing that the UA does that most people don’t realize and that I, as a Tucson local, took for granted,” Rios said.

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