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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Students discuss what it takes to prepare for Picnic Day

It is not your imagination – for much of spring quarter, there has literally been music in the air. Four times a week, to be exact.

“Picnic Day season for us starts the first day of the quarter,” said Arbel Bedak, the student director of the California Marching Band-Uh!. “We have our usual Monday night rehearsal, but now we have marching practice three days a week.”

Band-Uh! will be performing several times throughout Picnic Day, starting with the parade and ending with Battle of the Bands, a multi-school music competition held in the Arboretum.

A stunts committee, primarily composed of first-year students, built a float for the end of the parade. Students spent four days a week working and bonding, while planning pranks on the 12 senior officers.

“I just got pranked the other night and it was really funny,” Bedak said. “When I was a freshman here I had a mustache. They decided to play off of that and posted pictures of me all over my bedroom. Then they stole my razor. As you can see, I’m a little scruffy.”

The Band-Uh! are not the only ones that have been preparing for Picnic Day.

For Fiona Kim, a senior design major, preparations for the annual fashion show began last year.

“The Runway Designers Club starts planning about a year in advance with venue planning, finding a DJ, deciding on designers to show and fundraising,” Kim said.

“This year we have 23 amazing designers as well as many other single garment designers. The students showing full lines are all part of an advanced fashion design class during winter quarter where we created four outfits.”

Though the garments are created at the expense of the designers, the fashion show comes with much expenditure. Budget cuts left the club with less funding, so they had to get creative.

“Professor Ann Savageau [is] allowing us to have all the proceeds from the bags sold at Picnic Day from the BAG [Bags Across the Globe],” Kim said in an e-mail interview.

“We also worked more closely with the other Design Program clubs, Pixel the graphic design club and American Society of Interior Designers, to help cut costs for the show. [Plus] donations, fundraising and most importantly the [Campus Finance Council] grant given out by the Center for Student Involvement.”

The fashion show will be held at 2 p.m. at Freeborn Hall. Free tickets will be handed out starting at 12:45 p.m.

A less well-known event for Picnic Day is the UC Davis Gospel Choir at 4 p.m.

Structured as a normal class in African-American studies, many students in the choir participate all year long. But Anna Ruth Crittenden, a first-year undeclared major, just started spring quarter.

“We meet twice a week and we’ve just been learning how to sing. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to be performing, but we’ve been learning a couple of songs,” Crittenden said.

Though this will be the choir’s first performance of the quarter, Crittenden said Picnic Day is just one of many opportunities the group will have to exercise what they’ve learned.

“I’m expecting the unexpected,” Crittenden said. “I’m very excited.”

The excitement is shared among many Picnic Day organizers.

“It’s been a lot of work,” Kim said. “And many, many sleepless nights as well as a workout running around making sure everything gets done. But the end product is totally worth all of the work.”

BECKY PETERSON can be features@theaggie.org. 

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