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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Picnic Day Culture


Students share how they spent Picnic Day 104

Picnic Day, Picnic Day, Picnic Day. Such a celebrated event is almost all that’s heard about for the first few weeks of Spring Quarter. Why the buzz? Is it the parades, battle of the bands, the food, the streets of rowdy college students? Something about Picnic Day brings Davis, both the college and the city, alive. In a pursuit to find this day’s magic, The Aggie consulted students about their Picnic-y activities, possibly determined by their social homes.  

Kendall Owens, a third-year English major, mentioned that he found friends in his department.

“Home would be the English department for me,” Owens said. “Right now the English department is a good resource for me, where all my friends are.”

Maura Willow, a second-year English and psychology double major, found home elsewhere.

“I’m part of the band, alto section,” Willow said.

Jackie Geyfen, a second-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, enjoyed spending time with her Greek organization.

“I’m in a sorority,” Geyfen said. “I guess that would be my group.”

Owens is a third-year transfer and so had not experienced Picnic Day until this year. He mentioned that the day’s reputation preceded itself.

“My expectations were definitely met,” Owens said. “It was accurate to what people had to described it to me: perfect weather, lot of different activities to go to, lot of people.”

Willow said this year, for her, was much more restful.

“I marched [in] the parade last year,” Willow said. “Something that not a lot of people know about band is we start at 4 a.m. on Picnic Day. We have a freshman rally at 4 a.m. and we keep going until 10 p.m., when we have battle of the bands… This year I did six hours of battle; that was the only thing I did.”

Geyfen enjoyed this year more than the first due to good friends.

“It was a lot better,” Geyfen said. “Last year I was super confused on where to go and how everything was going to work… This year I met so many more people, so I felt a lot more comfortable this Picnic Day, like I knew what to expect.”

While the whole town shows up, not everyone rises in sync.

“I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and started at 6:00 a.m.,” Owens said. “Close friends, definitely. At my friend’s house, we gathered around and had motivational speeches.”

Geyfen said her day started similarly.

“Our morning started to waking up with [a good friend] in my bed at 6:30 a.m.,” Geyfen said. “We got ready, and around 7:15 a.m. we headed to our first pre-game and the day started there.”

Willow, on the other hand, enjoyed sleeping in.

“My parents came this year, so I woke up at like 9 a.m.,” Willow said. “We saw the campus for the first time during Picnic Day.”

Throughout the day, Davis is pumped with energy, leaving both campus and the city stuffed with fun. Owens spoke about his trip to campus.

“[I was on campus] only for a little bit,” Owens said. “I saw a little bit of the band play, and I saw some type of race.”

Willow showed her parents around.

“My parents are really into [agriculture] stuff,” Willow said. “We milked the cows and looked at the horses or whatever, so that was definitely most of our day.”

But every early start has to slow down eventually.

“Definitely power napped,” Owens said. “I got a two-hour power nap in, from about 3 to 5, so that one definitely came in handy.”

For some, once the engines slow, it’s hard to get the wheels turning again.

“So around 1 or 1:30 we took a nap,” Geyfen said. “I think the goal was to power nap and go back out, but then we couldn’t do it. We power napped, woke up, then went back to bed.”

While more of Davis is awake during the day, its doesn’t stop people from enjoying the night.

“I made it till 2 a.m.,” Owens said.

Willow raised the bar.

“I think I got home at 4 a.m.,” she said.

Whether one slept in until noon or pulled an all-nighter, most of Davis enjoys Picnic Day — that’s the real charm of it. Geyfen put it best.

“I kinda like that every person on campus is doing their own thing,” Geyfen said. “I know there’s a lot going on [on campus], families go there, academic professors and teachers, and all that show off their work, which is cool. And then [students], kind of do our own thing. We go party to party, which is fun for us… I kind of like how everyone comes together in their own way.”

In a cheesy way, the reason Picnic Day might be so popping with smiles is simply because the city and campus get together for no other reason than to have a good time. All day can be spent eating on campus, watching the dog races, jumping parties or in bed — regardless, laughs will sound. In the spring sun with hints of summer, it’s hard not to get together with close friends or family for a good time.



Written by: Nicolas Rago — arts@theaggie.org


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