Double-decker buses, dance groups, golden retrievers, cheer bands and floats showcasing some of UC Davis’s most popular fields of study marched through downtown Davis in a parade who kicked off the school’s first in-person picnic since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The annual celebration has returned after two years of virtual celebrations under the theme “Rediscovering Tomorrow”.
“We showcase our world-class research, our experts and our unique programs while giving you and your family the opportunity to discover and experience who we are,” said the UC Chancellor. Davis, Gary S. May, in a message in the Picnic Day Program.
Hundreds of people ranging from families and local residents enjoying the annual festivities to prospective UC Davis students using the event to see if the school would be right for them filled the campus and downtown Davis on Saturday.
Missy and Matt Campbell, who moved to Davis from Los Angeles at the start of the pandemic, were thrilled to finally be able to celebrate the event they’ve heard so much about.
“We moved to Davis in 2020 and we heard stories of picnic day,” Matt said. “But the last two years it’s been a very low-key celebration. It’s great to see this city that we’ve come to love celebrating itself.
He added that the celebration is a confirmation of what the family thought Davis was going to be like when they moved there.
“And now seeing all the families and seeing the students and community members mingling, it’s like, well, that’s exactly what I thought it was going to be,” he pointed out.
Missy added that she was happy to see the city come to life after two years of canceled events and social gatherings.
“We love so many things about Davis, but it’s nice to see that he continues to thrive and be part of those traditions,” she said.
Besides families, the event also attracted prospective students who took the opportunity to see what school attendance would be like.
Olivia Ojeda and Ella Baggioloni, two high school students from Nevada, said they visited Davis for the picnic because they were curious about attending UC Davis.
“My history teacher went to UC Davis and he recommended it, so we came,” Ojeda explained.
The picnic day seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about the school and see what the environment would be like for Baggioloni and Ojeda, who are interested in studying psychology and science respectively. creative writing.
Speaking about the event, Baggioloni said she loved it and “needed some normalcy” after two years in a pandemic that has shut down most gatherings.
“I just needed normality and this brings it out and that’s great,” she pointed out.
Several venues around campus were open, offering “shows of the day” like a chemistry show and a weather balloon launch, while also offering several information booths that showcase the work students are doing in certain departments.
Jaden Brewer and Alexia Huang were both stationed at an anthropology booth where they offered families and anyone interested the opportunity to ‘explore Sacramento’s history’ through artifacts students found in the area. dating back hundreds of years.
Brewer, who is a junior majoring in anthropology and history, said she was thrilled to finally celebrate Picnic Day.
“They’ve tried to do it online and it’s just not the same,” she explained.
Brewer said she had family in Davis who had told her about the event for a long time and was thrilled to finally be able to experience it when she started two years ago.
“Freshman year, I was like, ‘oh, picnic day, spring term!’ But then COVID hit and it was like, oh, sad,” she remarked.
Two years later, she said it’s nice to see students like her show off all the cool projects they’ve worked on or showcase what they’ve learned at UC Davis.
“It gives you an idea of how big the school really is and how many different things we all fit into in this small community,” she pointed out.
Huang, a freshman anthropology student, agreed with Brewer, adding that she was happy to see her community coming together.
“It’s cool, the things that the community and the students can show,” she noted.
Huang said she enjoys talking to families and passers-by about her field of study and seeing how interested people are in learning more about anthropology.
Live performances by multiple bands, comedy shows, games and plenty of food trucks were available to attendees throughout the day, with most events ending around 5 p.m., depending on the schedule.