Jonathan Aguilar / The DePaulia
Inflatables, games, activities, flowers: DePaul Activities Board’s Spring Carnival on the Quad benefitted from ideal May weather on Wednesday afternoon, May 15, but the event did not pop up out of nowhere. Large outdoor campus events take months of preparation, and Evan Hazlett, DAB’s amusement chair, said he’s worked on the Spring Carnival since last year.
“We thought of this in November. We had to submit proposals and in-depth plans,” said Hazlett, keeping an eye on the event. “This past week, I mean, we spent quite a few hours sorting through things and sorting out logistics. Overall, in-depth planning is about two months.”
DAB’s advisors coordinate with vendors, but when it’s time to set up the event, DAB students take control. The organization is almost entirely student-run, so major campus events fall under their jurisdiction.
“Once vendors arrive, it’s all volunteers and leadership,” said Maddie Shiparski, president of DAB, in front of inflatable carnival toss games. Some vendors are hands-on with setup; others let students construct everything.
Inside the event, students were given a unique prize for competing in and winning carnival games.
“Did you get three in row? Awesome. Here’s a flower coupon. Bring that to the blue table for a free flower,” said Connor Mudd, DAB’s chair of Art and Media, directing two girls who made three baskets in a game he was overseeing. “I get to be a carnie for a day.”
Hazlett, operating as the carnival’s main planner, came up with the idea to give winning students a free flower as a change-of-pace reward for completing elementary carnival challenges. DAB must draw students to events. Something must be unique.
“How can we incentivize people to play these games if we don’t have enough volunteers to have one individual at every game?” Hazlett said. “A ton of people have been going through and playing and then coming over and getting a flower if they win.”
The flower prize worked on the nicest spring day Chicago has had in awhile. The success of outdoor events hinges on weather more than one might think.
“This weather? Perfect. Our other amusement events have either fallen on bad weather days or have been off campus on days where it didn’t quite work out,” Mudd said.
But under bright afternoon sun, the carnival looked just right. Like the chalk event DAB put on weeks ago, Mudd was satisfied with the turnout.
“I’d say this was a phenomenal success,” Mudd said.