Thursday, August 28, 2014
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

    Testimony in Marsh trial starts Tuesday

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    School’s back, with gradual return to smaller classes

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    New live-work project approved for Del Rio Place

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Marcy finds her place in the DHS Hall of Fame

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Russian columns enter Ukraine

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Quake is major test for hard-luck city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Do you have a project for the noon Rotary club?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Learn about Girl Scouting at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Low-income Davis homeowners can save money and go green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Employee parking permits downtown streamlined

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

     
    Prospective foster parents welcome

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis Media Access: Get involved in community media

    By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: A4

     
    ‘Art of Acting’ offered at Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tai chi classes set at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Stroll Through History highlights Beamer Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    All are welcome at monthly sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Hosts sought to befriend international visitors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Lunch at the big table, again

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Perfectly good playground?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Work on gun control instead

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Military has too much money

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Put flowers in our hair

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Give cops the ability to protect

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Don’t let MRAP be a tool for bigger mistakes

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Yes, mother’s milk is best

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Gould, Shaw won’t dwell on it, but Biggs remembers The Upset

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    No. 8 keeps Republic unbeaten streak at 8

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS boys look to win seventh soccer section title

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    New attitude, new stadium for 2014 UCD field hockey

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggie men ranked 11th in water polo poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Dunning picks Cupcake Week

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Youth roundup: Judges like what they see from Davis Diamonds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Baseball roundup: Huge inning helps Cats in Nashville

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Local teacher and artist turns 100

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    100 years’ worth of stories

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

     
    Ethereal dream pop to illuminate Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

    By Anthony Siino | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Well-known artist will be juror for exhibition

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A11

     
    Outdoor art classes to close out summer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6