(Photo courtesy of Marlon Pitter) “Alexandra Wright, Robert Joyce keep their eyes on the target at the 2016 Spring Carnival.”
On April 20, UMass Lowell’s Association for Campus Events (ACE) will be hosting the annual spring carnival on the South Campus Riverview Field from 7-10 p.m. to close out spring week. Students can expect a fun night of games and rides to end this school year. The rain date is April 21.
Some of the main attractions include glow-in-the-dark games and chairs that people can take photos on, two big carnival rides, Sal’s Pizza trucks and other tropical items because this year’s carnival has a “destination vacation type of theme,” said ACE Membership Coordinator Aadit Engineer. “[T]he plan is that the DJ will play music like reggae vibes … some vacation stuff.” One carnival ride that will be there is a mechanical surfboard, similar to the mechanical bull from last year’s spring carnival but it will be more vacation-themed. There will be a T-shirt giveaway as well.
ACE expects this year’s spring carnival to be an event that will be enjoyable for every student, regardless of major or interest, and free of charge. It is the biggest event that ACE puts on during the entire year.
“With all of our events, but especially spring week events … we want something for everyone,” said ACE President Natalie Mayo. “[S]tudents from all different backgrounds, all different parts of campus, different majors … will be able to come and enjoy it … we have the rides for people who are into that, we have games for people who are into that, we have food—obviously most people like food.”
Last year’s carnival fell on a windy day, which caused issues with the planning. An inflatable obstacle course was dropped at the last minute because of the untimely weather. “This year we’re not doing any inflatables, and the big reason for that was because of the issue of the wind, where if it is super windy, we can’t even put up the inflatables … we wanted to focus more on things we knew we would be able to have,” said Mayo.
The COVID-19 outbreak made most in-person events impossible, so last year’s spring carnival was the first one ACE had put on since pre-COVID times. “During the pandemic, they would do a virtual spring week where they would have some events on Zoom, but that was really the first year that we did it in person again after COVID … going into those events, we didn’t know how many people to expect,” said Mayo.
Navigating in-person attendance after the pandemic was hard to gauge for a lot of clubs. With an event as big as the spring carnival, predicting how much food and supplies to bring was less than a breeze, so to speak. Mayo said, “[T]his year we ordered more food; it shouldn’t be as much of an issue … this year we’re a lot better prepared for everything.”
Over 1,000 people attended last year’s spring carnival, and ACE has prepared for just as many, if not more. With the recent good weather, students will hopefully be free to enjoy the day with everything that is planned. Mayo said, “[T]he T-shirts are really popular… if you’re interested in getting a T-shirt, try to come towards the beginning to make sure you get one before we run out.”