On Saturday, April 21, the Student Govermnent Association (SGA) Programs Board hosted the 19th Annual World Carnival, featuring games, vendors, and cultural performances from all over the world. The carnival, which was held in and around the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics & Recreation Center (MPOARC) and on Admissions Field, lasted from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then picked back up at 8 p.m. for musical performances by The Carpet House Band and Electric Six.
Because of the threat of rain during the day, most of the events took place in the MPOARC, but some of the vendors, food, and club tables were outside. However, the day proved to be sunny and warm until the end of the outdoor carnival events. Students could enjoy games and activities provided by clubs, play laser tag in a bouncy arena, take photos with friends in a photo booth, play an inflatable basketball challenge, play quidditch, or shop at the various cultural vendors and food booths.
The cultural events, held in the gym in the MPOARC, ran throughout the carnival and offered a wide variety of performances. One of the most popular events was the debut performance of the St. Mary’s Drum Corp, who drew interest by marching to and from the carnival. There was also a reading of the Sneetches by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Beth Rushing with a Take One! Improv performance. Local reggae band D.K.G.B., Maryland Dhoom, a University of Maryland College Park-based Indian Dance team, and Miller, another local band, also brought culture to the stage. Students who attended the events could choose from a table of free World Carnival swag, with items such as sunglasses, foam fingers, and color changing cups.
In addition to the cultural events taking place all day in the MPOARC, there was also a St. Mary’s Triwizard Tournament on Admissions Field, with various challenges happening throughout the afternoon. In the week leading up to World Carnival, students from each class could submit their name into the Goblet of Electric Blue Flames at the Campus Center. At 1:45 on Saturday, two names were drawn from each class to represent their class in three challenges: archery, castle destruction, and an obstacle course. Juniors Nick Huber and Owen Ma won the tournament, and the other classes all tied for third place.
At 4 p.m. on the Admissions Field, St. Mary’s held its version of the Indian Holi Festival, an Indian cultural celebration of spring. Participants were encouraged to wear bathing suits and were given white Holi Festival t-shirts to throw the colored powder on each other. “It was a lot of fun,” said first-year Danielle Lafferty. “It really was the perfect way to celebrate spring at World Carnival.”
During the festival, SGA clubs could host tables out on the lawn to raise money and interest for various causes.There was a raffle to raise tuition money for a Gambian students with exotic items from Greece, India, Slovenia, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Poland, and Spain. Students could make tie-dye t-shirts to raise money for Circle K International for the Eliminate Project to rid the earth of neonatal tetanus or spray paint designs on a white shirt to raise awareness for Invisible Children.
The Crew Team challenged the student body to beat them in Erg sprints, or students could compete against their friends for pins and bragging rights. Carnival-goers had the opportunity to pie Officer Mary in the face, get a Tarot Card reading, or buy a caffeinated goldfish. While not perusing the club tables, participants enjoyed Bollywood Masala, Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream, Gwennie’s Caribbean Food, kabobs, gyros, and activities at the craft vendor tables.
The major musical event in the evening, although originally planned to take place in a tent on Admissions Field, took place in the MPOARC. The opening act was a band made up of seniors Matt Pindell, Scott Smoot, and Mike Snow, otherwise known as The Carpet House Band. The headliner was Detroit-based band Electric Six, known for such hits as “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar.” The band’s sound, as described by AllMusic.com, is a mix of “garage, disco, punk, new wave, and metal into cleverly dumb, in-your-face songs.” Although all students may not agree that they were exceptionally clever, the music was a good way to end another successful World Carnival. “The band wasn’t really my thing, but it was a great way to end a fun day,” said first-year Julia Maas.