As the sun beat down on the lower quad, Whittier College students enjoyed the cool, infrequent breeze, scaly reptiles and the playful puppies, that were accessible all afternoon. On top of the animals, carnival-goers were treated to free henna tattoos and carnival games, complete with the potential to win prizes.
The occasion was the Whittier College Program Board’s annual SpringFest, held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. SpringFest is a time for students to relax and blow off steam before finals becomes the only thing on anyone’s mind.
Students milled about the various booths, perhaps pausing to use the inflatable Velcro wall or the carnival tossing games, but the real party was happening at the far side of the field. People flocked to the fenced off areas full of puppies and reptiles. Once people had the initial waiver filled out and a blue stamp on their right hand, they were free to frolic with the animals to their heart’s content. “This is my first Spring Carnival,” says first-year Mauricio Romero. “The puppies licked my face. It’s been so exciting.”
Aside from the puppies, which included some high-spirited dachshunds, SpringFest featured turtles, snakes and an albino Burmese python named Ginger. At roughly 70 pounds, Ginger had students rubbing their arms and wincing as they handed her off to the next interested customer. Several students handed their phones to their friends so they might step up to pose with the snake, saying “cheese” with Ginger for photos.
Though the carnival lasted from the afternoon until the evening, there were hardly record-breaking numbers of students attending. “I think a lot of people are busy studying for finals,” says Romero. “It’s also difficult because of dinner being held up here instead of the CI.” Since students could only pass through the buffet one time, they were prompted by Campus Inn staff to gather as much food as possible. “You could only get food one time,” sophomore Matthew Condon said. “The event [lasted] a long time, so that didn’t make sense.”
However the food was still enjoyable, and students and faculty ate burgers and corndogs together as they watched students cuddle with the animals. While the hot sun began to set, people laughed and enjoyed the festivities knowing tomorrow, Monday, would come and reality would set back in. It was a perfect distraction for a Sunday evening.