Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Picnic Day: Student planners target family fun

And they're off! Dachshunds leave the starting gate for one of the Picnic Day races in 2012, with varying degrees of commitment to the race. This year's Doxie Derby races begin at 1 p.m. in The Pavilion; doors open at noon. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A1 | April 16, 2013 |

There will still be cow milking and a parade, but the UC Davis students behind the 99th Picnic Day have added a high-tech wrinkle most of their forerunners surely never imagined.

They call it the “Snapshot” challenge, so named for the theme they’ve chosen for Saturday’s campus open house. Here’s how it works:

Visit the Picnic Day website, http://picnicday.ucdavis.edu. Sign up. Then, wielding a smartphone, hustle around the sprawling campus. At 30 places or events, scan the posted QR codes. All that, for a chance to win a prize.

Get out your comfortable shoes and sunscreen. That makes one more fun option added to the more than 200 planned events and exhibits.

“It’s just kind of our way to promote all the events that are at Picnic Day. At the same time, we hope that by having something like this and having people go check out these events, it’ll divert the attention away from all the kinds of substance abuse we’ve had in the past,” said chair Jonathan Wu.

The 16 student directors are hoping they’ll hear good reviews and see them pop up on Facebook and Twitter — along with a second straight year of diminishing numbers on the arrest log.

“We want everyone to have fun and celebrate, but safety should definitely be top priority for everyone,” said Wu, who, when not heading up the planning of the largest student-run event in the country, is a fourth-year neurobiology major from Shanghai.

“My first time at Picnic Day gave me my first feeling of Aggie pride,” he said. “It was really great just to see all these students out, in force, celebrating what Davis is all about and enjoying themselves. For international students, or people who are away from home, it’s a day when they can really feel at home here.”

Picnic Day brings together the campus community, alumni and Davis residents “in a way other towns can’t, because they don’t have an all-encompassing event,” said Vice Chair Kevin Hadidjaja, a senior exercise biology major from Los Angeles.

Attendance numbers like 80,000, 90,000, 100,000 or more, maybe lots more, get bandied about afterward during an annual game of shrugs and ballpark guesses.

Back again for another day will come the racing dachshunds of the Doxie Derby, the chemistry and physics magic shows and the Battle of the Bands, along with newer favorites like sledding on trucked-in snow and navigating the laser maze.

There will be educational and informational exhibits and booths and lectures, sports, performances and all manner of food, from pancakes for alumni to Korean barbecue to, ah yes, liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Last year, Wu and Hadidjaja were both busy helping run Picnic Day, in different roles, but as Picnic Day-goers they were both fans of the many animal events.

“When I went my sophomore year, the dog Frisbee show — that was absolutely amazing, absolutely incredible,” Wu said. “One of my personal favorites, even though people kinda cringe at it, is the cockroach races. And the Doxie Derby is always a must-see.

“People have a hard time coming out in the morning — they usually make it in the afternoon — but if you come out in the morning, the parade is really kind of the epitome of Picnic Day. This year, we have 68 entries.”

Hadidjaja said the directors are aiming for “a feeling of family fun.”

“I always loved festivals and carnivals and fairs when I was growing up,” he said. “I want people to feel that, too, with Picnic Day, but with a sort of Aggie flair, because we’re known for our animals, our big science programs. I want them to get that festival feeling but with some educational aspects mixed in, as well.”

Among Picnic Day’s board of directors, 14 receive $600 each for a year’s work. As chair, Wu receives a $2,500 stipend; Hadidjaja will receive $1,300. Each director has a handful of volunteer assistants. They’ll spend a budget of about $60,000 to $70,000, including their salaries, equipment, like grandstand rentals and communications, cleanup, T-shirts for volunteers and other costs.

Picnic Day surely remains a bargain, then — especially when compared to the bill an event-planning firm likely would hand the campus, without approaching the homespun feel that has existed on at least one day, almost every spring, since 1909, when neighbors were invited to see the University Farm’s new barn and to pack a lunch.

“It’s a labor of love,” said Paul Cody, the board’s staff adviser, “just as it has been 98 other times.”

Online: http://picnicday.ucdavis.edu

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
.

News

City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
World travelers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Weightlifters causing a racket

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Wage plan has a big flaw

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
No support for militarization

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

A better use for this vehicle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Police are our friends, right?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

 
Light-hitting Cats fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Giants win nightcap in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

 
Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Yolo Mambo to play free show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6