The end of the year at Keene State College is full of stress, final exams, packing and goodbyes to close friends, but when students see a ferris wheel and other carnival rides down Appian Way, they see the end of the year in a more positive light. Although students may not realize it, a lot of behind the scenes work goes into putting on this event.
Student Government hosted the annual Carnival Thursday, April 28, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with carnival rides, carnival food, giveaways and live music. Although students may not realize it, a lot of behind the scenes work goes into putting on this event.
KSC senior, economics major and Student Body President Bobby Graham is the co-leader for Student Government’s events committee, whose members work to organize the carnival. Graham works with co-leader Marissa DePolo to delegate tasks to different committee members in preparation for the carnival.
This year, a former KSC tradition known as Chalk Talk took place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. prior to the carnival. Graham said this event allows clubs and organizations to come together and advertise in chalk all over Appian Way.
“So we start the planning about two months in advance thinking about what it’s going to look like, so this year we brought back chalk talk. That is a tradition that didn’t used to be a part of Carnival. It actually was the predecessor to Carnival, and it got disbanded a few years ago, but it’s something we really want to bring back as a tradition,” Graham said.
Graham continued, “In student government, a lot of the traditions that we have put on in the past have been disbanded, so we’re working to try and find a way to bring back a lot of that tradition in new, more positive ways, and this was one of the ways we were able to do it.”
Graham said last year, carnival was very successful and the students loved it, so this year they planned to have the event run similarly. Some highlights included receiving a free T-shirt and mason jar from Student Government. Graham explained that the distribution of the carnival T-shirt is a tradition and each year, the design is a little different. In the Student Government office, they have all the T-shirts from previous years lined across the wall because every year, people enjoy getting one with a new design.
Graham said the environment of Carnival is relaxing and allows students to get their mind off the stress of finals. Graham said, “It’s in the last week right before finals, so people start to think about stressing a lot, but then all of a sudden they look up and there’s a Ferris wheel. So it’s a day when people get to pause and say we’re here at Keene State and we’re Keene State Owls, that’s my favorite part…It’s a day when people slow down.”
KSC sophomore, management and communications major and class of 2018 treasurer Alayna LaBaire said she helped run the event. She said it’s a fun time for everyone to get together, play some games, go on some rides and enjoy the end of the school year. “My favorite part is seeing how excited everyone is over it. I like the atmosphere it creates. I like hanging out with all my friends. Everyone is just so happy. I just enjoy the joy,” LaBaire said.
KSC sophomore and computer science major Masaki Carty said he especially looked forward to the free stuff, free food and “really cool” rides. “I think it’s to give everyone one last big fun day before the end of the year, and to give people a chance to take their minds off of finals,” Carty said.
Graham said ultimately, Student Government loves fostering community. “That’s kind of what we do here and creating traditions. Every year, people are always pumped and thinking, ‘When is Carnival? When is Carnival? I love Carnival,’ and stuff like that. Even though it’s something that is a small part of the semester it’s a huge day and it means so much to a lot of the students,” Graham said.
Jessica Ricard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org