Spring weekend offers lots of free fun

Despite weather that couldn’t make up its mind, this year’s “Sparty’s Spring Weekend” was a success, organizers said.
Held in the Campus Center and dining area of the Fireside Café, this totally free event featured free t-shirts for tie dying and “Sparty Cups” for first comers. The event was fast paced, fun — and crowded.
More than 400 students cruised in and out of the Campus Center for the four-hour event that also offered free henna, caricatures, snow cones, a chocolate fountain, make your own bumper stickers, mini melts and a magazine cover stand. Many of the lines – particularly those for henna tattoos and caricatures – stretched into the atrium for a wait time of an hour and a half in some cases.
Although the lines held some people up, attendees seemed excited about the events, the fact that they were free, and for the opportunity to spend the day with friends.
“I’m loving it. My hands are kind of dyed awkwardly as tie-dye tends to do. We’re just having a lot of fun, hanging out with friends and really excited about the caricatures and the hennas,” junior Amberly Soto said.
But the fact that the event coincided with Open House did cause some issues, students said.
“I saw open house parents and their kids taking all the stuff that was for the students. It was just ridiculous because they were taking like four at a time,” remarked student Kristen Marchese.
“All there was left were extra-large t-shirts [for tie dye],” added a disappointed Samantha Bessette.
Students Eric Dowd and Andre Coutu, who helped run the event, said the event may be less chaotic and more student oriented if Open House were on another weekend.
“I really wanted to go overboard with this one, though it is a shame that we ran out of shirts and cups – but I wanted to have as many events for people as I could,” said Coutu, adding that 250 cups and shirts were ordered.
Fellow volunteer Kenzi McCain says although she didn’t help with the majority of the planning, she was excited to help bring this activity to life.
“I’ve worked other years…but this has certainly been one of the busiest. I don’t know if that’s because there are more students involved or because there is so much going on with Scorpion Bowl and Open House, but it has certainly been a turnout,” McCain said, manning the free Dippin’ Dots cooler.
Both Coutu and fellow CAB affiliate Steph Bosse remarked on how much effort goes on to plan this, and the other events CAB and Student Activities plans.
“We take all year planning this,” says Bosse.
Coutu also talked about the desire of his Committees and Groups to provide fun, attraction-filled and free programs.
” I have about $90,000 to plan all of these events. And what I try to do is to make as many of them as possible free,” Coutu says with a smile.
He was also excited about the musical guest, a musician, Jesse Payo, from Los Angeles.
Payo has opened for Jason Mraz and Boys II Men and has had music featured on hit MTV shows like “My Sweet Sixteen” and “The Hills” and Disney’s “Jump In” soundtrack, for which her performance landed a Gold Record.
Payo said that she enjoyed the experience of playing for the audience; that she’s new to this market but that she appreciates these settings because they allow her, “involve the audience more fully in her performance.”

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