April showers bring May Day flowers

By Brittany Schaefer
On April 29, 2014

  • Chris Billings, UNH junior, sitting on one of the rides at May Day Carnival hosted by the Campus Activities Board. Cameron Johnson/Staff

On April 26 from 1 to 9 p.m., the University of New Hampshire Campus Activities Board held the fifth annual May Day Carnival in the C Lot parking lot. The unfortunate turnout this year was a rainy Saturday, but that didn't stop the many from taking advantage of this free event. 

Amusement rides, games, live music, food, prizes and a petting zoo were available to students and the surrounding community at the May Day Carnival. 

Around the area, some dorm residents could hear the screams of attendees as they climbed aboard rides when the rain died down. Live music filtered into the sky as different bands played to cheers from May Day-goers.

While the rain didn't stop students from going out to the event, many booths took precaution against the rain and set up tents. The sheltered cotton candy stand proved to be popular, as it drew many students to its sticky-sweetness with its free price tag. 

"Twirling cotton candy is much more difficult than it looks," said freshman Michaela Butler, one of four students running the stand. "We all volunteered for student involvement purposes, and we definitely have a popular booth." 

Another popular place to be was under the tents with the farm animals. Ducks, rabbits, goats and chickens were among the many animals students could pick up and  pet at the petting zoo. 

"Although it's wetter than the last two years, they came up with great new ideas," said UNH junior Ryan Bottesini as he was holding a duck. "I love the petting zoo; since we are in college, we don't get to be around a lot of animals so it's nice." 

Bottesini was also excited about the amusement park rides, the lines were short unlike previous years. There were five attractions at the carnival. Kim Smiley was one of the men operating the rides brought by Miller Amusements. 

"I have been doing this for 20 years," Smiley said. "We have traveled to Keene and all over New England. My favorite part is meeting kids; they are always so happy about trying each ride."

One of the goals of the carnival was to raise money for philanthropy. Sigma Phi Epsilon, Chi Omega and Tau Kappa Epsilon were some of the Greek life organizations present at the carnival. Sigma Phi Epsilon raised quite the crowd with their fundraiser supporting St. Baldrick's for childhood cancer, as volunteers offered to shave their heads. 

Over 55 people volunteered to go bald, bringing a big crowd of people to watch. 

The goal was to raise $500. But Sigma Phi Epsilon's efforts have been more lofty between May Day and a month of fundraising. Brothers in the fraternity called family and friends to ask for donations; they raised much more money than was expected. Gabe Lee, vice president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said that they raised $12,500 for St. Baldrick's.

"This fundraiser was much more successful than any of us imagined," sophomore Conor Langille said.

Although May Day ended up on a rainy day, students and community members dawned their rain boots and rain jackets - decorating the gray light of the day with greens, oranges and blue jackets and boots - to make the best out of the day.

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