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Hands down, today was the best day I have ever had at Juniata. To start, the weather was beautiful, especially compared to the nasty conglomeration of precipitation the meteorologists like to call “winter mix.” The sky was clear and the wind that had plagued us all week had diminished to a light, almost refreshing breeze. All of this provided a lovely backdrop to the amazing event of Springfest. Every spring, our Juniata Activity Board, more commonly referred to as JAB, puts on a day-long event to celebrate the coming of spring and the sun and the warm weather that comes along with it.
This year Springfest was Coachella themed, as the JAB member who planned the event told me. They brought in four performers from across the northeast, including Lee Dewyze the winner of season nine of American Idol, and an amazing acapella group out of Canada call Eh440 (check them out they were AMAZING). The event ran from noon to seven in the evening and every hour of the event was packed with bouncy castles, food trucks, three encore performances from the Downbeat Percussion group, and a Ferris Wheel.
For me, it wasn’t the terrifying awesomeness of a Ferris Wheel (what? I’m afraid of heights) or the red chili chicken burrito served from a food truck that mad the day so memorable. I think I can take the liberty to say that for most, Springfest is the first day in a long time that they can leave their rooms and homework, and bask in the warmth of a sun that is too often hidden during the winter months. It’s a time to let loose a little before the final projects and tests start flooding in, robbing us of any time that we might otherwise have spent on the quad, lazily hammocking.
Even though I still have several homework assignments ahead of me tonight that I should have worked on today, I don’t regret spending my entire day outside. Sure, I’ll be a little more tired this week, but it’s also only three days long for me (thank god for Easter weekend and not having classes on Thursdays). My skin will also be red as a beet and burning up due to sunburn, but being uncomfortable for a few days will be well worth the day of music and food and fun that I just had.
Last Saturday was absolutely gorgeous – the cold winter weather finally broke. And I was lucky enough to spend the entire day outside with my friends, while raising money for a great cause! And I may have even got to wear a tutu, while singing ‘Frozen’ at the top of my lungs.
This day was one of Juniata’s spring traditions, Relay for Life and Springfest. People form teams all to raise money for cancer research, through the Relay for Life organization. Then, all the teams set up booths with activities or things to sell such as crafts, games, food,etc; everyone walks laps around the booths to see what everyone else is selling and to raise awareness. This year we had a Disney theme, so the quad was decorated with Disney character cutouts and all the teams had cartoon inspired names.
I got to spend my time with my friend’s team, called Pascal’s Pals. We sold glasses that were hand-painted and had a “Goodwill for Life” table where an abundance of donated clothes could be purchased.
The happy day was ended with a memorial lap with paper bag lanterns lightening the day, with a slideshow in honor or in memory of those loved ones who have or had cancer. I think that this is one of Juniata’s most uplifting traditions and I’m glad that I could contribute this year.