Since the start of the fall quarter, a 17 member board of directors has been meeting weekly and holding office hours in preparation for the 95th annual Picnic Day celebration, scheduled for Apr. 18, 2009.
In consideration of UC Davis’ centennial celebration, the theme for the upcoming event will be Reflections: 100 Years of Aggie Legacy.
“We’re taking time this year at Picnic Day to look at where UCD came from, and also to where it is going” said Steven D. Lee, Publicity manager for Picnic Day.
A notable change in this year’s celebration will be the inclusion of student marshals in the Picnic Day Parade. The parade will feature three to four marshals, selected from current and former UC Davis students.
“The parade marshals are very important, they are people we would like to honor, and this year, because of the centennial, we would really like to honor the students,” said Christine Pham, a senior economics major and chair of the planning committee.
Nominations for the position are being accepted until Dec. 3 and can be submitted to Picnic Day vice chair Monica Lindholm. The selections will be decided by a subcommittee and are expected to be announced during the first week of winter quarter.
“What we’re really trying to find [for nominations] are outstanding students who have made an impact [and] represent what UCD is all about,” Lee said.
In addition to their role of leading the parade, the marshals will also be asked to showcase a talent during the day.
Notable past examples include “Butterscotch,” Davis resident and finalist on reality T.V. show “America’s Got Talent,” who served as a marshal in the parade last year.
Other changes to this year’s event are still in the planning, but staples of the event, like the 36 year-old Doxie Derby, cow milking and the magic show will still be the major attractions of the day.
The official schedule will be released in the early spring.
Last year approximately 80,000 to 100,000 people attended Picnic Day, said Pham, who served as business director for Picnic Day 2008 and is now in her third year of involvement with the event.
“I expect that because it’s the centennial and Picnic Day is one of our premier events that we will have an even greater turnout then last year,” Pham said. “I’m also expecting greater involvement from the campus.”
The picnic day tradition began in 1909. The event has been cancelled four times in its history, in 1924 because of an out break of hoof-and-mouth disease, in 1938 because of the delayed construction of a gymnasium, and during World War II from 1942-1944 when the campus was under the direction of the Army Signal Corps, according to the event’s website.
CHARLES HINRIKSSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.