I have mostly fond memories of UC Davis Picnic Day as an undergrad. I remember waking up at 7 a.m. to a dorm full of freshmen pounding shots. The highlight was wandering over to the dining hall for breakfast and seeing someone puke in the dish return. At 9 a.m.
The next three years, I mostly stayed away from campus and downtown. It was too overwhelming. It seemed like 100,000 people descended on the tiny town and a sizeable group of them strived for mayhem. Fights in the streets. Screaming frat bros outside student apartment complexes. Nalgene bottles of lukewarm screwdrivers everywhere.
But this year will be different. I’m not a student anymore. I don’t live in Davis. The mere thought of vodka shots at any time of day makes me sick. I am determined to finally see what Picnic Day is “really” about. (The university showcase part.)
When I finally checked out the schedule, I was completely overwhelmed again. That thing is 24 pages! So for you dear readers considering crossing the causeway, I present this much-abridged list of recommended events. Please keep in mind that I have never been to any of them.
1-3 p.m. ARC
Watching dachshunds race around in circles is a favorite Picnic Day pastime.
9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Briggs Hall
Briggs Hall Apparently we like anything that will race around in circles.
Hand Cow Milking
10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Cole Facility
The quintessential Aggie experience. There’s also goat milking from 12-3 p.m.
9 a.m.-3 p.m. 1309 Surge
Kiss-A-Bull, Pit Bull Awareness and Kissing Booth
10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Hutchinson Field
Animal Science Meat Lab
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Cole Building C
See the inner workings of a legitimate meat processing facility. Those of us who worked here know it’s really called The Kill Floor.
Horse Breeding Demonstration
1-2 p.m. Horse Barn Area
Actually this is probably terrifying.
Chemistry Magic Show
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Rock Hall
For some reason, this explosion- and reaction-based show is the one everyone always talks about. And waits in super long lines for. But there’s also the Material Science Magic Show (11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in 1001 Giedt) and the Physics Show (12:10 p.m.-2:30 p.m. 66 Roessler).
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Bainer Hall East Lawn
This stuff costs $4 in San Francisco, but UC Davis scientists will serve you for free.
Interactive Electronic Exhibits
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Kemper Hall
Allegedly you will be able to play a song on a harp with laser strings, and other cool stuff.
Build and Play Your Own Robots Using Robot Modules!
9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Bainer Hall
Greet your future robot overlords early.
Battle of the Bands
2-10 p.m. Lake Spafford
Not rock bands. Marching bands. The number one rule is the UC Davis Band-uh! always wins.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Creuss Hall
A real-life herd of life-sized paper horses.
Exotic Food Tasting
9 a.m.-12 p.m. Plant Environmental Sciences Courtyard
The sweet promise of new fruit to test your taste buds.
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Plant Environmental Sciences Courtyard
Because apparently you can paint with soil and it’ll actually be pretty.
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Police & Fire Department
Check out where the infamous pepperspray cop was trained!
Speaking of cops, they will be patrolling the above mapped area like crazy. That’s the Safety Enhancement Zone, in effect at 6 p.m. tonight through Sunday morning. In the highlighted area, noise, open container and smoking violations will cost you up to $485. Urinating in public will cost you $403.