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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Best ASUCD Unit: Picnic Day

ASUCD Picnic Day. Group photo of the 2020 Picnic Day Board of Directors.

Picnic Day beats CoHo by just over 5%

Everything about Picnic Day seems quintessentially Davis — from cow milking to the Doxie Derby and the parade to beyond, the event is a favorite for students, faculty, alumni and members of the community alike. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Picnic Day was canceled on March 14, but the board worked to produce a virtual Picnic Day.

The event is especially meaningful to fourth-year statistics major and Picnic Day chair Nicole Deacon, who said her decision to attend UC Davis was largely influenced by attending Picnic Day as a senior in high school. Deacon didn’t attend Decision Day that year but had visited Downtown Davis, usually to pick up ice cream on the way back from visiting grandparents. 

“Picnic Day was the first time I had been to campus since I was accepted,” Deacon said. “We took the train and we got off the train at the same time the parade was going through downtown and it was just really cool.”

It was as she made her way onto campus, not really knowing where she was going, that Deacon knew UC Davis was the school for her — and that she needed to be involved with Picnic Day, in some way.

The first Picnic Day was held in 1909 to welcome about 2,000 attendants to view the new Dairy Farm, but the event was only called Picnic Day starting in 1916. In its 111 year history, this year marked the sixth ever cancellation — with prior cancellations due to World War II, an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease and gym construction.

  This year’s virtual event was attended by about 5,400 people, a number of whom rejoined multiple times throughout the day. Picnic Day shirts were sold, with nearly $3,000 raised for the UC Davis Medical Center COVID-19 Support Fund, a success Deacon is extremely proud of.

Deacon was slightly surprised that Picnic Day won in this category, as she thought it would be classified as an event. But she said she thinks it makes sense — Picnic Day is dear to many. 

“I am a little surprised, but I think this just shows how much [Picnic Day] actually means to the campus,” Deacon said. “Everybody knows what Picnic Day is, everybody enjoys it and it’s just the one thing and one day that everyone who goes to UC Davis really looks forward to. And it’s really special and unique to our campus and to the City of Davis.”
Written by: Anjini Venugopal — features@theaggie.org


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