"UB hosts high-flying, firework-filled carnival as part of Family Weekend"
Student Association Òowns the fallÓ with annual carnival
Goldfish in plastic bags became new members of some families this weekend as students tried their hand at games of luck or chance at The Student Association Carnival.
SA held the fair next to the bookstore on North Campus on Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. as part of Family Weekend. The more than 5,500 students and family members who participated in the special weekend had the opportunity to enjoy free games, rides, food and live music.
The carnival is SA’s longest running event, dating back to before the 1950s. The purpose of the carnival is to create a fun and exciting atmosphere in a safe environment, according SA Entertainment Coordinator Marc Rosenblitt. The carnival, which was mainly funded by SA, cost between $55,000 and $60,000, according SA President James Ingram.
Tiana Cintron, a junior studio art major, enjoyed the carnival as a way to escape the daily grind of college.
“You should have fun sometimes,” Cintron said. “It’s a good break from all of the studying and exams.”
Students started pouring in at the beginning of the carnival to get first dibs on the free food, rides and games. At least 30 students waited in each line for the mechanical bull and four big spinning rides.
“I like how it’s quiet in the beginning,” said Lauren Pochatko, a senior theater major who took home a new goldfish. “Later on it will be too hard to get on rides.”
Students, parents and children waited in line to play ball toss and shoot basketballs. There were also live jazz bands, such as the Michael King Project, which had a crowd of people dancing and recording the performance on their phones. This was followed by Pyromancy, a fire performance dance troupe. Members took turns slowly eating fire on sticks.
UB Smash Club held a bungee run, which had students charging forward just to be flung back against the giant inflatable platform.
Hungry students waited in line for hotdogs, popcorn and nacho for more than 20 minutes. Long lines and dropping temperatures didn’t stop students from staying until the carnival’s end.
“The lines aren’t great, but everything is free,” said Daniel Matthew, a sophomore communication major. “What more can you ask for?”
Other students weren’t as excited about the carnival atmosphere.
“Even though I’m totally for free things, I think that they should give us books instead of throwing on a purposeless affair,” said Eleni Mazur, a senior English and education major. “It’s awful that we’re making this a priority.”
There were SA fliers posted around the carnival stating it was funded by the mandatory student activity fee, which is the $94.75 undergraduates pay to SA each semester.
Some students felt that the carnival would be less crowded if it were held for longer than four hours.
“If the carnival were on a Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. more students would be able to come and it wouldn’t be as packed within these few hours,” said Dana Hale, a junior psychology major.
Once the sun went down, carnival lights lit up North Campus. The Ferris wheel, tents and hundreds of people crowded under the carnival’s tents. Music mixed with the screams of people on rides and the smell of curly fries from the Big Blue food truck and the sugar from the fried dough stand.
After the carnival, the UB Marching Band led everyone to the bonfire and pep rally to excite students for the UB football game against Norfolk the next day. The night ended with fireworks exploding over campus.
The fun didn’t end as the carnival closed – students can revive their carnival spirit by attending Spirit Week in and around the Student Union from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5. Activities will include bungee machines, wing-eating contests and window painting.