Friday, July 25, 2014

Do Picnic Day like a pro

From page C18 | April 10, 2014 |

From the first hiss of pancake batter poured onto the alumni pancake feed griddle until silence returns to Lake Spafford after the Battle of the Bands, more than 200 activities will fill Saturday’s Picnic Day.

The 100th edition of UC Davis’ free open house will sprawl across the largest campus in the UC system.

Meaning, you can’t see it all. Cannot do it.

There are some tips that can help you make the most of the campus’ biggest day of the year, however. Away we go:

* Plan ahead: Tucked between big draws like the Doxie Derby and the Chemistry Magic Show on the schedule are events for every taste — including a taste for that delicious liquid-nitrogen ice cream.

Whether you want to milk a goat (and, really, who doesn’t?) or learn still more complex facts about climate change, take a simulated spacewalk (not like Sandra Bullock in “Gravity,” hopefully) or venture into the Biomedical House of Horrors, you will see more — and your feet will thank you — if you scribble down an outline for your day.

* Do not smoke ’em, even if ya got ’em: Every inch of campus is now tobacco-free. It’s alcohol-free, too, no matter your age. Campus police have warned that they have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy (they write it in all caps, even). We’re guessing they mean business.

Davis police aren’t messing about, either: many fines for alcohol-related violations are doubled on Picnic Day.

* Arrive early: Organizers suggest Picnic Day-goers pedal, walk or bus to campus. If you must drive, parking is free — but be aware that parking lots and garages fill up by late morning.

For more detailed information about lots and garages, take a gander at the Picnic Day website:”>

* Bring singles: Unitrans rides will set you back $1. Bringing extra bills will make boarding easier for everyone. So, c’mon, don’t hold up the line.

* Hop on the shuttle: There’s no set schedule here, just buses running loops. The London double-decker bus rolls to the School of Veterinary Medicine out on Garrod Avenue, with stops at the Silo, Equestrian Center, Lot No. 51, the Unitrans Pad, Dairy/Tercero and West Village.

The single-deck bus cruises out to the Mondavi parking lot with stops at Silo, Lot No. 47, Mondavi Center, Lot No. 46 and Dairy/Tercero.

* Meet up: Choose a check-in point in case you and yours get separated. A lost children’s booth will be set up on the Hoagland Hall lawn, in the Multicultural Children’s Faire.

* Be warned: Expect long lines to nab tickets for popular events, like the Chemistry Magic Show. Arrive early to avoid the crushing sadness of missing out. Because, explosions!

* Dress smart: It should go without saying, but choose the comfortable clothes and shoes. Especially the shoes. Sunscreen and hats: also a good idea. Umbrellas are handy, rain or shine. Consider toting extra water.

* Go hunting: A Centennial Scavenger Hunt is planned. This means you can dash about madly with your smartphone, scanning QR codes at designated “hot spots” across campus. The fastest finishers will win prizes. A list of said hot spots (hint: Eggheads) is in the Picnic Day schedule.

Yes, but what about first-aid, my dog and getting some grub?

* Get help: A first-aid station will be located next to the Memorial Union bus terminal.

* Fido’s welcome (mostly): You’re welcome to bring your dog — on a leash — but note that there are some buildings into which only service animals can venture.

If you do bring your dog, please do not shoot him disapproving looks after seeing the awesomeness of which those Frisbee, flyball and herding dogs are capable. That’s not nice. He’s only a dog!

* Stop for swag: You can buy Picnic Day T-shirts at the UC Davis Bookstore. If you head upstairs, to 349 Memorial Union, you can get your mitts on special centennial glasses for $8 — or $7 if you’ve signed the Picnic Day Pledge to behave yourself, handily located on the Picnic Day website,

* Eat something (or many somethings): The Student Organization Faire food booths will be cooking up the savory: tacos, kebabs, sisig (that’s Filipino spicy pork, we’re told), tortas and serving up the sweet: shaved ice, green tea smoothies, frozen chocolate bananas — and more.

The Coffee House, Silo and Silo Courtyard will provide an array of other items, including corn dogs, to keep you fueled up. That is, if you consider corn dogs fuel, which we absolutely do.

* Another option?: Bring a picnic. Sounds crazy, but it might catch on.

* Finally: If the Stanford University Tree mascot turns up at the Battle of the Bands, do not —repeat: do not! — look directly into its creepy, googly eyes. We cannot stress this enough. You’re risking weeks of nightmares.

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter.

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