By: Arynne Smallback
Originally published 4-9-2013
With winter lingering into spring, a nice spring day is hard to come by. Luckily for the University Activities Board, April 6th was a perfect spring day to put on the Carnival and Hot Air Balloon ride event! The event included bounce houses, food courtesy of Chartwells, face painting, a table to decorate T-shirts, and, the big topper, a free hot air balloon ride to the first 300 people in line.
Community members and students alike flocked to the the field next to the Robbins Center where the various bounce houses with different activities in each were constantly filled. At the decorations table, attendees could tie-dye T-shirts, paint bags, or fill jars with beads and letters (most commonly the letters for their name). Chartwells provided popcorn and nachos which served as perfect concessions as the crowd sat on the slope and watched the hot air balloon being unrolled and blown up into a monstrous egg shape that could be seen from all directions.
The hot air balloon was tied down to three large trucks to keep it from floating too far away. The ride consisted of climbing in as the last passengers climbed out and floating to the extent that the ropes allowed to simulate what an actual flight would be like. Though short, the ride was exhilarating as one looked over the edge to find themselves much higher than they may have anticipated at first.
As many of the participants in the carnival would have noticed, there was a smaller group of students dressed up like they were going to a dance instead of to a carnival with a dirt floor. Terry was one of these students, she herself wearing high heels, and when asked what this group was dressing up for this was her response.
After further explanation, Terry explained that this group of KAMS students are welcomed to attend the Hays High School prom and the dance happened to be the same date as the carnival. Furthermore, KAMS students get their pictures taken on the night of the prom hosted by HHS and Terry explains that the students wanted their pictures taken, but didn’t want to attend prom and thus, their anti-prom logo was born.
By the end of the day, many people went back with the experience of riding in a hot air balloon on what seems to be the last spring day for the rest of the week. The UAB’s timing could not have been better to plan such an event, and it seems that the carnival was widely accepted with pleasure. Hopefully there are more spring days to come with more times to be spent with friends. Perhaps not in a hot air balloon over 100 feet in the air, but there are many more ways for people get together and such outings should be anticipated by the UAB in the future.