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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Student-run carnival kicks off 35th year with a bang

    Whether you want to slide down the huge slide, snack on a snow cone or run away from the carnival mehem, one thing is for certain: Spring Fling is here.

    The Associated Students of the University of Arizona is kicking off the 35th anniversary of Spring Fling at 4 p.m. today at Rillito Downs, 4698 N. 1st Ave. The carnival will run until 8 p.m. on April 5.

    While the largest student-run carnival in the country will have much in common with those of Spring Flings past, this year’s directors have changed a few things.

    In addition to fundraising through working at a food booth or game, clubs were also given the opportunity to fundraise by pre-selling wristbands, said Spring Fling marketing director Chase Sutton.

    Wristbands were sold to about 30 different clubs at $15 rather than the normal $20, Sutton said. For each wristband sold, a club earned $2, which was matched by another $2 from ASUA Club Funding.

    “”So they got $4 per wristband that they sold””, said Cori Malin, Spring Fling public relations director. “”The clubs that weren’t able to get a booth at Spring Fling because they didn’t turn in the application on time or didn’t have enough people to run it – it gave them, like everybody, an opportunity to raise some money.””

    Also, Spring Fling directors planned a larger kick-off this week on the UA Mall, Malin said. This included having a food-eating contest and a carnival ride on campus.

    “”We tried to add the new attractions, such as the food-eating contest, and tried to make a bigger impact on the UA community with the Mall kick-off, with making it bigger … trying to bring it back to the UA community,”” Sutton said, “”Because we’ve lost … a little bit of interest when it moved off campus just because it wasn’t seen as a UA entity.””

    “”So, trying to tie it back and trying to provide that connection to the UA was kind of like our goal for the 35th anniversary,”” Sutton said.

    Last year’s Spring Fling saw more than 30,000 aððttendees and made more than $60,000 for the clubs and organizations involved, Sutton said.

    Though the economy has taken a hit in the past year, directors don’t think it will make much of a difference on this year’s turn-out.

    “”I don’t see it being an issue … we’ve thought about it in our pricing for the entire weekend,”” Sutton said.

    Sutton, Malin and Seema Patel, the ASUA administrative vice president, said they also did more outreach this year. A grassroots street team has been working with Texas Roadhouse, Sutton said.

    In addition to the street team, Spring Fling donated baskets to schools in order to help with the schools’ fundraisers and their own promotion, Malin said.

    “”It’s been a tradition for UA and Tucson for 35 years. And, you know, we’re bigger and better and just as good as any, just as good as before. So it’s an opportunity for everybody, for the Tucson community and UA community to come together,”” Sutton said. “”You know, sometimes we do feel that (the UA) is kind of set aside from Tucson. Other than sports, we’re the biggest event that UA puts on each year that brings both communities together.””

    Patel agreed with Sutton.

    “”Being a Wildcat is – people think it’s traditionally like attending basketball games and cheering at football games – but it’s also being a part of traditions like Spring Fling and things that are a staple of the Tucson community,”” Patel said.

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