Spring Fling returns for its 45th anniversary
The 45th annual Spring Fling is set to kick off Friday, April 12, and last through Sunday, April 14, on the University of Arizona Mall. The student-led and student-focused event will provide three days of carnival rides, games, food booths and entertainment to the UA and Tucson communities.
The event itself is planned out and organized by a total of nine student directors. Public health student Samantha Pear is the executive director of the event this year but has also worked different roles for the event the previous two years. She said working the event is essentially a year-round task.
“Spring Fling directors apply at the end of spring semester and begin their work upon being selected to the position,” Pear said. “Essentially, the directors work on the event from May to May. Depending on the position, directors will work anywhere from 10-20 hours a week.”
While a year of work for the event might seem excessive, it is easy to see why the planning process is so extensive when the event takes place. Spring Fling is one of the largest student-run carnivals in the nation, attracting over 25,000 people over the three-day period. Over 40 rides and game booths along with 20 different food booths will also take part in the event.
“The selection of clubs is a difficult task, as it is an extensive and competitive application process,” Pear said. “The process begins in October, and clubs are selected before the end of the fall semester. All applications are reviewed by the Spring Fling team as well as our advisory team.”
The event not only has a big impact on the Tucson community, it is a tremendous fundraiser for the UA community, as well. The event raises funds for more than 30 campus clubs and organizations each year, with each receiving complete and thorough information about the event and its impact.
Pear said besides the impact on the UA, a big part of what they do is being able to give back in the form of books and meals to the city of Tucson.
“Spring Fling has grown tremendously since 1974,” Pear said. “Considering that this has been a University of Arizona tradition for 45 years and is still growing, the event is all thanks to the hard work of the students and supporters on and off campus … Last year, we were able to donate over 2,500 canned food products, equating to nearly 2,083 meals. We have also donated over 2,000 books as well. We are proud to continue these partnerships with Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Campus Pantry and Reading Seed.”
For those new to the UA or who have never been to a Spring Fling, Pear says the team of directors made sure to emphasize digital content to spread awareness.
Spring Fling begins Friday, April 12 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., with Saturday going from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The event will cause some traffic restrictions, with University Boulevard between Cherry Avenue and Campbell Avenue closed from April 8-16 in order for event configuration and takedown to take place.
General admission is $5 with admission free for those who have a UA CatCard or military ID. Children under the age of seven are also granted free admission. Different promotions will run each day, including discounted wristbands with donation of canned food, children’s books or recyclable Coca-Cola products.
Follow Mark Lawson on Twitter