Flamingos and fun: This year's Springfest festivities serve students

Alan Fearns/Sun Star Reporter
April 16, 2013

From left Katie Griffin, Ashleigh Strange, and Jared "Jrod" Conrad take time from their busy SAO duties to play out in the snow with the new SpringFest gear on April 10, 2013. Hats, t-shirts, and sunglasses are just a few things students can get their hands on during the three-day student festival between April 25-27. Cordero Reid/Sun Star

From left Katie Griffin, Ashleigh Strange, and Jared “Jrod” Conrad take time from their busy SAO duties to play out in the snow with the new SpringFest gear on April 10, 2013. Hats, t-shirts, and sunglasses are just a few things students can get their hands on during the three-day student festival between April 25-27. Cordero Reid/Sun Star

Classes are cancelled on the last Friday of the month for SpringFest, a festival hosted by the Student Activities Office and Nanook Traditions.  There will be the traditional dance-off and mud volleyball, as well as recently added events such as blacklight dodgeball, cyclocross racing and fun run events.  These events require preregistration, and forms can be found on the UAF SAO website.

This year’s theme is centered around flamingos, that will be seen around campus as SpringFest approaches.

“It’s a funky, cohesive way to promote spring and its like a big party,” said SAO co-chair, Katie Griffin.

SpringFest will kick off at 11 a.m. Thursday, April  25, with a Wood Center barbeque requiring a Polar Express ID, but not a meal plan.  This will be followed by a dance-off and watermelon drop from the roof of Gruening.  Later that night, the 24-hour event “case day” will unofficially begin, as well as Lottanobooza, where students can receive prizes for checking in with a breathalyzer periodically to prove they have not been drinking.   Lottanobooza begins at 7 p.m. and ends Friday at 6 p.m.

Friday will be a field day where students can take part in mud volleyball in the Nenana Parking Lot at noon and enjoy another BBQ and “bouncy stuff” at the soccer fields.

“Field day is a lot of bouncies, which will be really fun,” said SAO member, Juan Cruz.

SAO is working with the Leadership, Involvement, Volunteer Experience office in Springfest Service to find students who would like to volunteer during the Fun Run and mud volleyballl.  Sign up forms are posted on the UAF LIVE website, and volunteers will receive a free Springfest hat.

“Everyone liked the hats, but we will also have sunglasses this year as… swag,” Griffin said.

The glasses, sporting a pink SpringFest logo, can be received by participating in events and having SAO take their picture.  Cruz warns that the overall swag will be limited in numbers.

“With the sunglasses we’re hoping that people will do the flamingo pose, like on one leg, and then once we get a picture of them, they get to keep them,” Grffin said.  Pictures taken of students will be uploaded to a photo sharing program called Pinwheel.  People with smartphones will be able to access these once they are posted online.  Participants without smart phones can receive a polaroid copy of their photo.

With Pinwheel, SAO plans to display the student photos on a big screen during the 8 o’clock Theophilus London concert.

All of the events will lead up to the Theophilus London concert at the Student Recreation Center on the 27.  London is a contemporary R&B musician, whose upcoming presence in the industry grabbed the attention of Concert Board.

“We definitely have budget constraints that we have to work within, but he was in our budget, and we felt he was well enough known and on the rise,” said Alllie Bateman, a Concert Board member.

In the past the board watched trends, ticket sales and pop cultures and brought up Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  They used the same strategy for this year’s SpringFest show.

“We put a lot of work into it, so I hope students enjoy what we’re bringing, and feel they benefit as well,” Bateman said.  “That’s why we do it; we just want to serve the students.”

Nightly events will also be held during the three days, consisting of a Student Recreation Center Fear Factor Eating Contest, Club Tropic Dance and Pub beer-tasting.

The fun run is an event where students wear white t-shirts and along the way will have non-toxic, colored powder thrown at them while running a 2-mile course.

“There really something for everyone, and hopefully it will be nice out so people can get outside,” Griffin said.

If the snow has not melted, there are backup plans to move Thursday’s outdoor activities into the SRC.

“Everyone goes, ‘remember that one Friday in April where we always get out of school?  That’s actually what its for, so that students could take part in Springfest service, and now we just got all this other stuff too, which is awesome,” Griffin said.  “I encourage everyone to go to as many events as possible,” Griffin said.

Punch cards will be passed out during the kick off, where students can enter a drawing for a round trip Alaska Airlines ticket by going to four out the five events listed on the card.

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