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Davis, California

Friday, February 23, 2024

Column: Whole Earth

Whole Earth Festival starts tomorrow, and we all know what that means. Everyone in attendance will be flyin’ high — on those satisfying food and eclectic purchases from vendors and the intoxicating sound flowing through the air, of course. Like Whole Earth Festival is known for anything else …

But let’s be real here. Last year I attended this weekend festival expecting one thing and left scarred, confused and intrigued. Yes, I saw more bare feet than I ever wanted to see. Yes, I encountered a mural of woman genitals depicted as the Earth. Yes, I wish I would have embraced the variety of entertainment options and vendor selections.

And that’s why I’m ready this year. I’ve printed out the program and mapped out every place I need to hit up. One of my friends informed me that she scored a pair of middle-finger earrings last year — um, excuse me, why aren’t those on my earlobes? I need them and I need them now.

I want to discover the music scene and immerse myself in poetry readings. I want to ignore the girls who will treat this event as Coachella 2.0. I can’t wait to enter a campus as busy as Picnic Day but with such a different atmosphere to it.

If Picnic Day was too tiring, too hot and too spread out for you, then Whole Earth Festival is where it’s at. Located in the central part of campus, booths, vendors and stages occupy most of the Quad. Surrounding this area are multiple stages and sections specified for children’s entertainment.

One look at the program for this weekend and I promise you’ll be overwhelmed. There are poetry workshops, yoga sessions, acoustic jam sessions, belly dancing performances, body painting opportunities and performers doin’ their thang like every five seconds on the multiple stages.

If you feel guilty for spending so much time outside having fun and have a need to study, fear not. You can get your learning on through the various informative booths. If you want to learn about Engineers Without Borders, there’s a community booth for that. Want to save the frogs? There’s an Environmental booth for that. Future midwife? Women’s Health booths. Classrooms Across Cultures? Social Consciousness booths. And if you want to be stabbed and punctured with needles, there’s an acupuncture booth by the Wellness booths.

Now that you’ve saved the world and basically signed up to live in the Domes, you can treat yourself to one of the service booths. I’ll most likely be spending my time getting henna tattoos, getting my palm read and having my back cracked. Right after that I’ll be spending my life’s worth in money at every single one of the zillion craft booths.

So now that you know where I’ll be for the next couple of days, you’ll probably run into some crazy girl chasing after animals and stuffing her face with every food item possible. Or you’ll see me giving campus tours. Yes, folks. I am signed up to give tours most of tomorrow morning and afternoon as well as Saturday afternoon. I am missing out on prime events at Whole Earth Festival. Pity me. Actually, no. I’ll be making money to spend at WEF and you’ll probably be sleeping in.

But hey, it just so happens that Decision UC Davis day for transfer students is tomorrow. What a perfect way to convince potential students that we are in fact an environmentally friendly school…I’ll just have to do my best convincing them that we don’t all walk barefoot, wear long skirts and save the Earth on a daily basis.

So if Picnic Day was too much for you, composting and recycling are your top extracurriculars or you’re looking for some entertainment, this weekend is for you. Print out that schedule of events. Don your tie-dye shirt and cut-off jean shorts and get ready to experience something you’ll only find in Davis…or maybe Berkeley on a normal school day.

ELIZABETH ORPINA wants to know what you’re looking forward to most at Whole Earth Festival. Is it going to be the acid-tripping adults, swaying to the music, the pure celebration of the environment or the eclectic atmosphere you came to Davis for? Let her know at arts@theaggie.org.

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