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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Spring Fling Fever

    Steve Nguyen
    Steve Nguyen/The Daily Wildcat Spring Fling 2014 will be held at the UA Mall this weekend from Friday to Sunday.

    Back on campus for the first time in 15 years, Spring Fling is celebrating its 40th anniversary where it all began.

    After 25 years on the UA Mall, it was moved off campus to Rillito Downs due to construction that made it impossible for the fair to be held at its regular location. When construction was completed, however, the event wasn’t brought back until representatives in the student government set out to “bring it home,” according to Hannah Sager, the Spring Fling’s marketing director.

    The event was created as a way for UA clubs to fundraise, a goal that still makes up much of the organizer’s mission. Clubs are able to get involved in different ways, including the popular option of running a food or game booth. Many of the same clubs return every year and join in the celebration, as do new clubs. Food booths especially provide clubs with an opportunity to decorate and choose food for their booth that reflect what the club does.

    “We’re excited to do something we haven’t done before,” said Hailey Schwartz, president of Sophos Sophomore Honorary. Sophos has participated at Spring Fling on and off for the last 10 years doing game booths, and this year is working a food booth offering funnel cakes.

    For most clubs that attend, Spring Fling is their main opportunity to fundraise for the entire year. Spring Fling drew over 25,000 people last year, making it the largest student-run carnival in the nation. This visibility goes a long way in supporting the various organizations on campus.

    Because a changing staff of students produces the event, Sager said the administration and supervisor are always looking for a diverse group of people with new ideas to add to the long-standing traditions.

    “The coolest thing about Spring Fling is that it’s people from Greek life and clubs and people who want to be a part of something and it’s this love for Spring Fling that really brings us all together,” Sager said.

    Christina Petsas, a member of Spring Fling’s street team and a communications sophomore, decided to get involved with the event’s organization for the second year in a row.

    “After having a blast freshman year I wanted to do my part and spread the word about it,” Petsas said.

    The carnival will have over 35 rides for attendees, including favorites like the Haunted Mansion and Flying Dutchman, and over 20 food booths with a wide selection of grub. Musicians such as American Authors and student-favorite Something Like Seduction will perform.

    The team is hoping that having Spring Fling back on the Mall will bring in a new wave of visitors. Although in the past transportation was set up to bring students and community members to Rillito Downs, many people were not informed about the options available to them and instead decided not to go. Sager said that she believes freshman living on campus especially will be able to enjoy the event, as it’s within walking distance.

    In order to bring Spring Fling to the mall, some changes had to be made to accommodate the community members living in the area. The organizers cut it back one day to Friday-Sunday and shortened their hours so that they don’t disturb nearby residents trying to go to bed. Segar assures that they haven’t scaled back on the rides, food or fun.

    “We really love that Spring Fling is something that the community can get involved in,” Segar said. “[The organizers] do a ton to give back to the community.”

    The benefits include allowing students and young children in for free and discounting wristband costs for those who bring in canned food or donated books.

    “It really unifies the school and Tucson community in a fun way,” Petsas said.

    Spring Fling runs from 4-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission closes one hour prior to carnival closure. Admission costs $5 and tickets and wristbands for the rides, games and food can be purchased at varying prices.

    Segar said that at the end of the day, Spring Fling should be a feel-good experience.

    “If people don’t come out with a smile on their face we’re not doing our job right.”

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