Campuses across East Coast welcome spring with festivals
By Sasha Dudding, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, May 18, 2012
As Dartmouth students prepare for this year’s Green Key festivities, students at other schools have already celebrated their own spring weekend events, which generally involved large concerts and parties as well as children’s activities such as moon bounces, according to event organizers and students at some of Dartmouth’s peer institutions.
Brown University’s Spring Weekend, held April 20-22, featured a carnival, parties hosted by fraternities and local bars and concerts by artists such as Childish Gambino, according to Brown freshman Eva Gonzalez.
“This year, we had ‘Fratty in the Ratty,’ which meant that the Ratty [the dining hall] was open for food until midnight and there was also a crazy party with the kitchen staff and everyone just being insane,” Gonzalez said. “It happens right before finals period so it’s a great time for the community to relax and have fun before buckling down to do work.”
Johns Hopkins University also celebrated its Spring Fair April 20-22 this year. The year’s event featured a beer garden, where students and community members could sample different types of beers, and a concert by Passion Pit, according to the weekend’s official program.
The Spring Fair also included an eating contest, in which participants competed for the titles of “Wing King 2012” and “Pie Princess 2012.”
“Every April, we throw open the Homewood campus and watch it come alive with the energy and enthusiasm of Spring Fair — an event that brings us such indispensable traditions as fried Oreos and inflatable bounce castles!” university President Ronald Daniels said in the official program.
The fair featured a children’s section with a magician and an arts and crafts showcase with local vendors, according to the official program. Due to the widespread appeal of its events, the fair attracts roughly 20,000 visitors each year, according to Johns Hopkins senior Andrew Rosenberg,the executive co-chair of Spring Fair.
“It’s not as focused on the concert as some other colleges’ spring weekends are,” he said. “It’s more a community festival than something that is 100 percent focused on undergrads.”
Concerts during spring weekends are popular at many colleges. Cornell University hosted a concert by Taio Cruz and Neon Trees as part of its annual Slope Day, and Yale University held a concert by T-Pain and Passion Pit as part of its day-long, music-filled Spring Fling.
Middlebury College hosts various events throughout the spring semester, including a spring formal and an outdoor fair called Cook Carnival that includes moon bounces.
On May 11, Middlebury held its biggest event, Midd Mayhem, a combined concert and picnic that featured the band Guster this year, according to senior Nadia Schreiber.
“All the dining halls are closed, so people pretty much have to go to Midd Mayhem if they want to eat, and then we’re hoping they’ll stay for the concert,” Schreiber said. “We’re hoping to get around 1,500 people. There’s been a real push from the student government to improve school spirit and get people excited about going to Middlebury again.”
Midd Mayhem has been occurring in some form for about 50 years, Schreiber said, though the concert was canceled last year due to rain. This year’s concert date coincided with a weekend with “pretty nice weather,” according to sophomore Sarah Boyd.
Princeton University held its semiannual Lawnparties on May 6. Hosted by the Social Committee of the Undergraduate Student Government, Lawnparties featured a variety of performers, also including rapper Childish Gambino, at the university’s eating clubs, according to The Daily Princetonian.