To celebrate the upcoming end of the semester, the Student Activities Board sponsored the annual Spring Fling on April 7 from 12-7 p.m. in the South East parking lot of the HPER Center. “It was awesome to get away from the stress of classes and chow down on some funnel cake and cotton candy,” freshman Travis Long said. “These are the kind of distractions that make UCA a great place to be as a student.”
The event resembled a small-scale version of Toad Suck or the County Fair with an array of carnival-like food stands, rides and entertainment such as caricature portraits and wax hands. “It was really fun, making the long lines worth it,” freshman Becca Anderson said.
Entrance, food and activities were all free. SAB Director Kendra Regehr said all event costs are covered through the Student Activities Board fee that students pay each semester and estimated this year’s budget was somewhere around $40,000, or “maybe less.”
“Some of the rides look sketchy, but it’s fun,” freshman Jake Peterson said after getting off “The Sizzler,” which is a ride that spins and throws your chair around in jagged lines. Freshman Jimmy Thomas said most students would probably like Spring Fling regardless because it’s “free fun and food.”
“The set up is a three day process,” Regehr said. “We try to plan [Spring Fling] for a Monday or Tuesday so we can use the weekend to set up. Friday we closed the lot, on Saturday the rides were dropped off, then set up on Sunday and the inspection happens on Monday before noon.” She then went on to discuss how the weather plays a big role in the event. “The weather is a huge, huge thing. [This year] we were blessed with a clear sky,” Regehr said.
Last year Spring Fling was moved into the Student Center Ballroom, taking away the popular rides.
Regehr believes Spring Fling is one of the more anticipated events all semester, as it’s a good opportunity for students to celebrate the end of the school year and leave for summer break. This year there were an estimated 1000 people in attendance, ranging anywhere from small children with their parents to older staff and faculty.
“We don’t advertise to the community, but it is for the UCA community as a whole, so many non-traditional students will bring their families,” Regehr said.
Sophomore Elizabeth Hastings said UCA needed to have more events like this. “I used to go to [University of Arkansas] Fayetteville and they would have similar events with the food stands and booths, but no rides,” she said. “It’s cool that UCA kind of outdid the biggest school in Arkansas.”