UC Davis holds annual Picnic Day to attract prospective freshmen

UC Davis band members play at Picnic Day.
UC Davis band members play at Picnic Day.

By Nathan Woo,
Bluedevilhub.com Staff–

Davis held its 101st Picnic Day last Saturday, April 18, on the UC Davis campus with the theme of “heart of our community.”

In addition to providing an opportunity for wiener dog races and parades, Picnic Day serves as UCD’s open house, allowing incoming freshmen to check out the campus and its surroundings.

To assist prospective students in making their choice, most classrooms were open for exploration, and there were speeches from department heads and teachers to entice students into joining the program.

Other colleges also hold these open houses, including UC Berkeley’s Cal Day and Cal Poly’s open house; similar programs for incoming freshmen. The main difference is that Picnic Day serves as a cultural exhibition along with an open house.

“There are less people from the outside, mostly just students and prospective students [at Cal Poly’s open house],” senior James Broaddus said.

This Picnic Day held traditional events like the battle of the marching bands, the Doxie Derby race, the chemistry magic show, the fashion show, the parade, the liquid nitrogen ice cream demonstration and the cockroach races.

“It was a really friendly atmosphere! Even though a lot of people give it a bad reputation because of the drinking college kids, I thought everything was pretty neat and exciting,” senior Aditya Tuladhar said.

Picnic Day’s reputation has been that of an all day party for college kids in which people would come from out of town to get drunk. But after a college student died a few years ago, Davis stepped in to prevent it from happening again, adding a more security and using the Davis Police to help avoid future problems.

Cal Poly’s open house faculty has taken moves toward preventing this problem.

“Picnic day is more student run, while open house at Cal Poly is 95 percent student run. [This is] to prevent problems that Davis deals with right now,” Broaddus said.

Broaddus attended Cal Poly’s open house and noticed that they dealt with the drinking problem by being stricter about searching for alcohol.

“I didn’t really experience it firsthand but when I tried to go watch wiener dog racing, they searched your bags and didn’t even allow water inside if it wasn’t sealed,” Tuladhar said.

While Davis has attempted to stem Picnic Day’s festivities, students have become accustomed to the parties.

“I’d say they made a reasonable amount of [effort toward] safety but I don’t think it worked; people were still super drunk,” Tuladhar said.

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