Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Kiss a pit bull, build a robot: Picnic Day has arrived

By
From page PD2 | April 19, 2013 |

That sound you hear — besides the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh — is surely the pounding feet of galloping dachshunds. Or maybe racing cockroaches.

Picnic Day — the 99th Picnic Day — has arrived.

UC Davis’ annual free, student-run open house — jammed with more than 200 events — takes place Saturday, sunny or otherwise.

There will still be cow milking and a parade, but the UCD 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.

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.”

Let’s say critters are your thing. Picnic Day has got you covered.

You can pet horses, calves, lambs. Play with rats. Milk a cow (or a goat). See fish and a horse painted to show off its muscular anatomy. Kiss a pit bull (seriously). Watch dogs leap for Frisbees or stare down sheep.

More science, you say?

You can learn about clouds, tornadoes and wind at Hoagland Hall, then stick around for a forum on climate change. Build robots at Bainer Hall. Take part in games and puzzles at the Mathematical Science Building.

Take in a lecture on the frontiers of Physics. Learn to care for grapevines. Check out those crafty engineers and their Rube Goldberg competition.

Or maybe sports is your thing. There’s loads to chose from, including an open Aggie football practice, the annual Woody Wilson track meet, plus water polo, baseball, tennis and more.

Performances, they got plenty.

On three stages (ARC, East Quad and Silo), there’ll be hip-hop and gospel, funk and jazz, belly dancing, ballroom dancing and lion dancing. Listen and you’ll hear the brassy sounds of the Battle of the Bands shaking the Arboretum.

Looking for something a bit more unusual?

Join the alpine ski team on trucked-in snow, test your sniffer at the Robert Mondavi Institute’s sensory experience, check out the maggot art in the Briggs Hall Courtyard, see the Kendo Club demonstrate Japanese swordsmanship at the ARC or tie-dye with textiles at Everson Hall (after all, the Whole Earth Festival is just around the corner).

Snap a 3D picture of you and your pals at Mrak Hall.

Then dig into a liquid nitrogen ice cream and relax. It ought to be quite a day.

“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
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8