UC Davis Picnic Day Evolution


Picnic Day at UC Davis is an annual campus-wide open house. Back in the “old days” when I was a graduate student, it was mainly about department exhibits, obscure sporting matches (lacrosse), sheep dog trials, battle of the bands, and dachshund races.  Then this event that typically takes place the middle of April took on a more party atmosphere until it got completely out of hand.  Now big electronic signs flash “Drugs and alcohol” (as in zero tolerance) and I pedaled around students already pissed by 10 a.m. (off campus).  By and large, it has mellowed into a great party with a sense of humor.  The 10 a.m. parade is silly and fun.


It wanders through campus and town–with campus and Davis community coming together. Punctuated by marching bands.


There are so many activities on Picnic Day that there is a tabloid size schedule of events printed on newsprint.  Best to bring your bikes and park at a distance and ride around campus to see more events.

Everything is free, so it is an incredible bargain for the day. There is no prohibition against packing your own picnic and food is readily available from various campus groups fundraising.  It is a great event for the whole family and you can plant those subliminal messages… “go to college, go to college.”  I do not think the Vet school still has the cow with the window in its stomach, however, you can try to milk a goat and the Doxie Derby is still very popular.

Go to http://www.ucdavis.edu to check the calendar for 2014.


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