Spring has come to college campuses, and with only a few weeks left to go until the end of the Semester students are letting off steam and relieving pre-finals stress with Spring Festivals. Here's a look at at the varying Spring Traditions at the East Coast's most notable colleges.-
Cornell Slope Day
Cornell's Slope Day started in 1901as "Spring Day", and celebrated with mock bullfights and circuses. Soon, in the words of the official website:
"...the focus of Slope Day shifted from food, music and celebration to widespread and uncontrolled alcohol consumption."
But alas, all good things must come to an end, and soon the University intervened in order to provide a "safe" and "positive presence" at Slope Day. Now there's catered alcohol, and more controlled celebrations which would make Slope Day pretty lame if it wasn't for the impressive list of celebrity entertainment they're able to line up each year, including Kanye West in 2004, Ben Folds in 2006, and (somewhat anticlimatically) The Pussy Cat Dolls in 2009.
1,296 Cornellians futiley joined the facebook group "Lady Gaga For Slope 2010", but I'm sure they'll be just as excited with the headlining artist Drake, who absolutely no one has ever heard of. The Slope Day Website tells us excitedly that Drake uses biodiesel fuel and biodegradable recyclable products on his tour bus! Wow, Lady Gaga who??
Slope Day this year is on May 7th.
Yale's Spring Fling
Yale's Spring Fling (you'd think the greatest young minds of the nation would be able to come up with some original names for their Spring music festivals...) has run into a bit of a hiccup this year. Their line-up includes the Ying Yang Twins and MGMT (take THAT, Cornell!), but Ivy Gate announced last month that MGMT refused to perform with the famously misogynistic rap group. MGMT is still on the Spring Fling website though.
The event is going on RIGHT NOW, TODAY, on Old Campus, come rain or shine. And if you're a huge MGMT fan/stalker, apparently the band will be arriving on the 4 pm train. Also, remember the girl from the Yale Sorority Video? Apparently, before Spring Fling last year she drank for 19 days straight. And you thought Yale was full of lightweights!
Brown's Spring Weekend
Brown's Spring Weekend has been going strong since its inception in 1950. This year, Brown hopped on the MGMT and Snoop Dogg bandwagon for their sold out weekend. According to this year's booking chair, students will look back on the lineup and think,
"Wow, these guys played here."
...AND at Yale AND at Penn. But, whatever.
Brown has the distinction, btw, of having the cheapest Spring event: tickets for Spring Weekend are $18, as opposed to the $25-$30 which is the norm at the other schools.
One student described the atmosphere of this year's Spring Weekend as
"..life, liberty, and the pursuit of frattiness"
Highlights of the weekend included a Mr. And Ms. Brown competition, and, according to the Brown Daily Herald, "popcorn, cookies, and other food refreshments in the Blue Room". Man, those Brown students can party!
Princeton's Lawn Party
Princeton has "Lawn Parties" (eyeroll) twice a year, once at the beginning of the academic term, and once at the end. This year, they booked The Roots to perform, though I guess they're not well-known enough for most Princetonians, as the Events planner encourages students to come out "even if you've never heard of them" because "they put on a great show".
I mean, not everyone can be as exciting as Gym Class Heros, for whom an overzealous group of fans got CHEST PAINTED.
[Photos via Flickr and IvyGate]
Penn's Spring Fling
We already covered Penn's Spring Fling this year, but it's worth noting that the 35 year old celebration had Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi, and Shwayze headlining this year. Penn's spring fling dubs itself "the largest party on the East Coast", and is a 2-day event at the end of each Spring Semester. Penn sold 150 $10 wrist bands that served "all access passes", which sold out almost instantly. ---
And finally, a dishonorable mention goes to:
NYU'S Strawberry Festival
NYU doesn't have a drunken bacchanal every year to celebrate the end of the academic year/onset of spring...but they do have a Strawberry Fest. The event features, I'm not even kidding you, face-painting, cotton candy, and COOKIE Decorating. And of course, lets not forget New York City's Largest Strawberry Shortcake!
Honestly NYU, and I say this as a loving former-student: there's a reason we aren't in the big leagues.
[Photos via BrooklynVegan.com]