The Keene State College campus was flooded with the laughter and excitement of students, faculty and community members as the final weekend of the semester was celebrated. On Thursday, April 26, the annual end-of-the-year carnival took over Appian Way from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m..
There were three rides available for students: the Scrambler, the Twister and the Ferris Wheel. Other activities were presented to attendees, such as roller skating, palm & psychic readings, frisbee spin painting, mechanical bull riding and a photobooth. All activities and food were available to KSC students, faculty and Keene community members free-of-charge.
Junior criminal justice and psychology major Michael Chipman said the food at this year’s carnival was better than the last.
“My favorite part was the food. The macaroni was bomb. Way better than last year’s food by far,” he said. He added that the event could have been better with the addition of bumper cars.
Similarly, sophomore chemistry major Nicholas Moungsa said the food was outstanding. “My favorite part of the carnival was definitely the free food. The food is finally good around Keene,” he said. Moungsa added that the lines were too long to go on rides, but he enjoyed the other activities that were set up along Appian Way.
“I didn’t go on any rides yet because the lines were way too long, but I did ride the bull, which was awesome,” he said.
The rides at the event were the highlight of the carnival for junior architecture major Eric Jorgens. “I liked the spinny-ride,” he said. “I also liked roller skating. It was pretty groovy,” Jorgens continued by saying his least favorite part was waiting in the lines.
KSC sophomore and sustainable product and design innovation major Molly O’Connor said this year’s carnival felt less crowded. “Everything’s more spread out, which is better. There were a lot more things to do, too. Like the frisbee spin paint, that was so cool,” she said.
According to Student Body President and KSC senior Kenadee Cadieux gold, purple and green decor was used to represent the theme of this year’s carnival, which was Mardi Gras.
Cadieux said the food provided at the carnival reiterated the event’s theme. Traditional Louisiana foods like jambalaya, chicken po’boys, bourbon beignets and king cupcakes were served to the public.
During previous carnival events, Cadieux said only three rides were available for attendees and students would complain about the long lines at the rides.
“That’s why we moved towards incorporating more things. The roller skating rink holds about 50 people. So that’ll cut down on lines, and just offering other things so people can do more. Especially for students who don’t like rides, so it’s good to offer things other than that,” she said.
The carnival has been a tradition at KSC for as long as Cadieux can remember. She said the carnival is an event Student Government plans to continue in the future.
“There’s been some other traditions that Student Government specifically has lost over the years, but this is one that we want to hold onto and continue to ramp up and show the students that Student Government cares and that we want to give them opportunities to enjoy,” she said.
Cadieux said the event is used to appreciate the student body and to give students a chance to celebrate their final week of classes.
“Classes are ending, and [the carnival is] just one more destressor before starting to take finals. It’s one more opportunity to bring the Keene State College community and that outside community together to just celebrate,” she said.
“Especially for graduating seniors. It’s definitely the big last thing until graduation and our goal is to make it as enjoyable as possible for everyone”.
Class of 2018 Representative and Student Assembly Treasurer Casey Matthews said the event costs between $28,000-$35,000. The Student Government is given a budget from the school every year. Matthews said that money went toward funding for the carnival.
Matthews added that this event is unique because it gives the student body, faculty and the Keene community an opportunity to celebrate collectively.
“This is one of the only events I feel that everyone attends. It’s outside. It’s easy to go to. It’s free. There’s so much to offer, I think it’s just all about bringing the people together,” she said.
Students can enjoy next year’s carnival the last weekend of the spring 2019 semester.
Ashley Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org