Buck Fridays carnival draws 1,200 students
Students played, danced and dunked as a part of the Buck Fridays carnival Friday night.
The second Buck Fridays event of the year, the carnival drew many to commons lawn with the promise of inflatable games, food, a live DJ and the chance to dunk Calvin faculty and staff members.
“The carnival was really fun,” said sophomore Marci Penning. “A lot of people came, and everyone seemed to have a good time.”
Students competed head-to-head in the bungee run, gladiator game and obstacle course. They also had the opportunity to jump around in the bounce house or at the velcro wall.
“Going in the bounce house made me feel like a kid again,” said Penning.
Students also participated in another carnival staple: the dunking booth. Calvin staff members like Bob Crow, dean of student development, and chaplain Mary Hulst were among those at the mercy of students’ aim and throwing ability.
“Unfortunately, it was the first throw that caused me to fall, so I was instantly wet and cold,” said Crow. “I couldn’t relax. [It] reminded me of those experiments in psychology of intermittent electrical shocks versus planned, regular shocks. I literally was on the edge of the seat the entire time, not knowing when I’d fall into the frigid water again.”
In addition to the fun and games, the carnival also offered food: popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones and nachos added to the carnival aroma.
Another popular aspect of the evening was dancing, led by local disc jockey DJ Zhem, who has provided music for several Calvin events in recent years. Many assembled to participate in dances like “The Cupid Shuffle” and “The Wobble.”
“When ‘The Wobble’ came on, everyone went crazy,” said Penning. “Even those who didn’t know the dance gave it a try.”
The annual carnival is an evening that many students look forward to as a fall season highlight.
“I’ve been to carnival every year, and it just keeps getting better,” said junior Tyler Minnesma. “The food, inflatables and side games keep improving every year. The carnival has always been my favorite Buck Fridays event.”
The first carnival, held in 2010, was also on commons lawn, while last year’s was held in the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex.
“I think it’s better to have the carnival outside,” said Minnesma. “Even if it’s a little chilly, it really adds to the carnival atmosphere.”
The chill in the air did not keep students from coming out and spending hours on the lawn. Activities and games kept everyone busy and active.
“Just standing around it was pretty cold, but I didn’t notice it as long as I was moving and doing games,” said Minnesma.
This year’s Buck Fridays team actively promoted the event through Facebook, Student News and Twitter.
“Campus safety is on the scene…TO PARTY WITH US,” read one of the tweets posted by the Buck Friday team. They added frequent updates throughout the evening, including pictures and where to send song requests.
The next Buck Friday event is an ArtPrize kick-off on Sept. 21, complete with a concert from indie rock band Sleeping at Last. The festivities begin at 8 p.m.