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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

Picnic Day Board announces 109th parade marshal

This year’s marshal is Cecelia Maikai-Beard, a Cuarto Dining Commons staff member who has worked at UC Davis for over a decade


By KAYA DO-KHANH — campus@theaggie.org


The 109th Picnic Day will be held on April 15, and the Board of Directors announced on Feb. 3 that this year’s parade marshal will be Cecelia Maikai-Beard, a Cuarto Dining Commons staff member. Maikai-Beard has worked at UC Davis for 13 years, according to a recent press release, and during that time, she has become beloved by students. 

As the parade marshal, Maikai-Beard will address the opening ceremonies of the university’s annual open house and take part in the parade as it travels through downtown Davis and campus. She said she is looking forward to judging the parade floats and connecting with students, parents, staff and faculty members. 

“I’m over the moon honored to be nominated by the committee of students to be Parade Marshal for Picnic Day,” Maikai-Beard said via email. 

Third-year economics major and Picnic Day Chair Jesse Goodman said that the Picnic Day Board of Directors, which is made up of 15 students, wanted the parade marshal to be someone who represented the Davis community and the theme for 2023: “Ignite our Moment.” He said that in past years, professors have been chosen as the parade marshal after connecting with students in a certain major. However, Maikai-Beard’s role in the dining commons has allowed her to connect with a variety of students, beyond the scope of a single major or even college.

“One thing that surprised us was that we all have interacted with and have been lucky enough to talk with Cecelia and interact with her on a daily basis when we visited the dining commons, so that was something we were able to all come together and realize — that Cecelia is someone who represents this Davis community,” Goodman said. 

Maikai-Beard said that since the announcement, she has been congratulated by the students she meets in the Cuarto Dining Commons every day. 

“The most favorite part of my job is connecting with the students,” Maikai-Beard said. “Because of all the students, I can truly say I come to work with a smile and I leave with a smile.”

Second-year psychology major and Picnic Day Vice Chair Bradford Martin said that Maikai-Beard brings positivity to students on campus and brings out the best in them, allowing them to “ignite their moment.”

“‘Ignite our Moment’ represents taking hold of the endless opportunities life has to offer,” Martin said via email. “UC Davis provides so many resources for us to utilize. We want to showcase and encourage all students, alumni, faculty, and community members to take hold of the amazing opportunities around us.”

Martin said that the board is looking forward to planning this year’s Picnic Day, which will feature a combination of old and new events. The full schedule of events for this year will come out in April, but a few historically popular events that are here to stay include the Doxie Derby and the Chemistry Magic Show. Goodman said that, for this Picnic Day, he wants people to explore the smaller events that are not as well-known. 

“Every time I’m reading through our events, I’m genuinely amazed by the creativity and the passion that these organizations have to come up with something so unique that only Davis has to offer,” Goodman said. 


Written by: Kaya Do-Khanh — campus@theaggie.org