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Friday, April 19, 2024

An Aggie-approved guide to Picnic Day 2022

Check out don’t miss events, behind the scenes details from their coordinators and more

By KATIE DEBENEDETTI — features@theaggie.org


This Saturday, April 23, is the 108th annual Picnic Day at UC Davis, and as the open house returns in person for the first time in three years, many are excited to experience the day for the first time or return to their favorite events of the day after a two-year hiatus. Since the day is jam-packed with hundreds of exhibits and shows, here’s a guide to some of the student-proclaimed “don’t miss” events to check out this year. 


Picnic Day Parade


Picnic Day will open as always with the opening ceremony, held on the North Quad across from Wickson hall, followed by the long-awaited return of the parade, which begins in the same location at 10:30 a.m. The parade will feature performances by the UC Davis Marching Band, beautiful floats from Davis local businesses and UC Davis departments. The parade will also feature an appearance by this year’s Parade Marshal, Dr. Nam K. Tran. Michael Navarro, a second-year political science public service and psychology double major, and this year’s parade director, said that Tran was selected to be this year’s marshal because of his contributions to COVID-19 research at UC Davis. 

“There’s a Parade Marshal that represents the theme and the values of this year’s Picnic Day which is Rediscovered Tomorrow,” Navarro said. “We have Dr. Tran, […] who helped work on the UC Davis [COVID-19] testing program and the procedures and different protocols when it came to the COVID-19 implementations here at UC Davis. It’s really great to see how we’re trying to rediscover tomorrow with someone as inspiring as him.”

The theme “Rediscovering Tomorrow” is a nod to the previous two years’ themes — “Envisioning Tomorrow” in 2020 and “Discovering Silver Linings” in 2021 — that occurred virtually. Navarro explained that having Dr. Tran as the parade marshal is very full circle, since his work has helped make it possible for us all to gather in person this year. 

The opening ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the parade will follow at 10:30 a.m. For directions on how to find the grandstands and a full lineup of parade floats, check out the official Picnic Day 2022 Schedule of Events


Doxie Derby


In a long awaited return, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) second-year class will be hosting the annual “Doxie Derby,” a Picnic Day tradition since 1972, during which dachshunds, or ‘“doxies,” from near and far will race to be crowned the winner of the derby! Each heat of doxies will run twice, and the top three from each heat will advance to the finals. Sam McClusky, a second-year SVM student who has been chosen as one of the Doxie Derby 2022 coordinators, said that this year, there will also be an “open class” heat, in which any dogs under 15 lbs can compete for the prize. McClusky said that the event generally attracts thousands of spectators, mostly there to watch all of the cute dogs running around  — himself included.

“I don’t really care who wins or not, I just like hanging out with the dogs,” McClusky said. 

The Doxie Derby will be held in the U Center (previously called the ARC Pavilion) from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. More information about the event is available on their website.


FADS Fashion Show: “Prism”


The UC Davis Fashion and Design Society (FADS) fashion took place virtually in 2021, but it will be back in person this year, featuring designs from the design (DES) 179 “Signature Collection” course at UC Davis, the capstone class for design majors with an emphasis in fashion. Julia Dang, a second-year design and English double major and the internal affairs director for FADS, said that the theme for this year’s show, “Prism,” reflects on the students’ in DES 179’s work over the last year and throughout their undergraduate careers.

“We’re using some mirrors and some crystals to shine a light on all of our designers’ work,” Dang said. “There will also be a museum exhibition inside the MakerSpace that’s not a part of the fashion show, but will display a lot of pieces like textile work, illustrations and other fashion pieces that weren’t involved in the show.”

In addition to showing support for the DES 179 students and other UC Davis students featured as models in the show, Dang said that attendees might even catch Leshelle May modeling one of the pieces.  

The show will be held in the Cruess Hall Courtyard, part of the department of design’s Makerspace that opened in Fall 2021. Shows will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and tickets are available on their website. The proceeds from the event will fund next year’s show and the Department of Design at UC Davis.


Cockroach Races


After two years of grueling training, the cockroaches of UC Davis are ready to race. A family-favorite Picnic Day tradition — the annual cockroach races presented by the Entomology Grad Student Association (EGSA) — will return this year, along with the various displays of creepy and cute critters set up by the EGSA. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m in front of Briggs Hall, roaches will be running around a mini track, vying to be crowned the king of the roaches (not really, but they will be racing for hours). Stop by to cheer for and bet on your favorite. More information on the EGSA’s entire display can be found in the Picnic Day events list


Battle of the Bands

End your day with some good-spirited competition and jazzy music at the Battle of the Bands, coordinated by the UC Davis Marching Band. This year’s battle will feature the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, Humboldt Marching Lumberjacks, USF Marching Dons, Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Pep Band, UC San Diego Pep Band and the all-time defending champions, the UC Davis Marching Band. From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., bands will compete to see who can play for the longest amount of time without pausing the music or repeating a song. 

Claire Inouye, a third-year wildlife conservation biology major and the current student manager of the UC Davis Marching Band, said that UC Davis’s band has one or — if not the — largest song book of most college marching bands across the country, and they’re ready to face the competition. Even though the bands are technically competing though, Inouye said she’s most looking forward to a moment during the competition when all of the bands come together to learn and perform the same song on the spot.

“We all play one song together that we learned on the spot by looking at […] somebody else’s fingerings in the band that’s teaching the song to us,” Inouye said. “I don’t know how long, but we’ll all learn a song together and play it together on repeat for a little bit.”

The Battle of the Bands will take place on the Mrak Hall lawn from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

The specific location and campus maps can be found in the Picnic Day schedule online.


Whatever event you’re most excited for this year, The Aggie is excited to celebrate Picnic Day with the UC Davis community in person again. Members of The Aggie’s staff will be tabling at the new Aggie office, on 116 A St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by to say hi, and pick up a copy of The Aggie. Happy Picnic Day!

Written by: Katie DeBenedetti — features@theaggie.org



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