On Saturday, April 16, 2016, UNCG’s Campus Activities and Programs Board (CAB) hosted “Spartapalooza,” a campus-wide carnival for UNCG students, as one of the Spring Fling activities. The carnival was held in the Jefferson Suites parking lot from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Rife with a variety of attractions, the carnival had a Ferris wheel, a ride in which passengers are dropped from varying heights, caricatures, customizable vanity plates and food. Upon entering the carnival and signing a waiver, each student was given a wristband and a ticket for a free food item.
While walking from her dorm to the parking lot where Spartapalooza was held, UNCG freshman, Julia Peterson, was unable to contain her excitement.
The entire walk over, she spoke about what she hoped the carnival would have. She and her friends were hoping it would be fun, rather than something the university had built up and would end in disappointment.
“You guys, I think I see something,” she said to the group of friends she was walking with. Upon seeing what Jefferson Suites’ parking lot contained, Peterson was not disappointed.
And, after waiting in line, signing the waiver and receiving the wristband, Peterson excitedly led her friends to the first ride they went on.
They all sat down and pulled down the safety bar in front of their seats. The ride would take them up and then drop them from different heights. It repeated itself four times.
The second ride they went on was a fast-paced Ferris wheel. This reporter, one of the friends, sat next to UNCG freshman, Taylor Nelson.
When boarding the ride, riders were told not to lean forward or backward. The ride proceeded to advance upwards and sharply drop riders to a jerking stop. After a few cycles, this reporter and Nelson were both stopped on the top, as the operator would routinely ask students if they wanted to get off.
While at the top, both this reporter and Nelson forgot about the operator’s warnings and went to look somewhere, causing the chair they were in to tilt. With her phone out and Snapchat open, Nelson took videos laughing and singing to the music playing in the carnival area.
More than once, Nelson screamed “Julia!” to get the attention of Peterson, who had boarded a few chairs ahead of her. Peterson did not turn around any of the times her name was called, not hearing Nelson’s voice over the music, screams, laughter and other noises from the carnival.
After a few times, Nelson stated that she’d had enough of the ride.
Finally, after what seemed like fifteen minutes, Nelson was able to get off the ride and join her friends. They continued on to a fast-paced ride which had two seats across from one another with a wheel in between.
When it was mentioned that it didn’t look as if the ride had any safety measures, Nelson displayed concern; this ride spun quite quickly and fairly high off the ground.
Watching some of the riders before them, Peterson, Nelson and their friends made comments on how terrified some of the riders looked, and said that some of the riders wouldn’t even touch the wheel in between them, which would spin the ride on itself while already going around.
Overall, the carnival provided a fun outlet for students to destress on a Saturday afternoon. And, even better, they didn’t have to pay.
If you missed the carnival this week, CAB is having another, smaller carnival, this Saturday, April 23, in Moran Commons.