Whether your thing is dressing up like a knight, taking a picture with a cardboard cutout of your favorite video game character or stuffing your face with cultural cuisine, chances are good that you were one of thousands of people who flocked to Aldrich Park on April 22 to get your kicks at UC Irvine’s famous Wayzgoose festival.
Established as a medieval festival in 1972, now, in its 34th year, Wayzgoose has become a cornerstone of campus life, attracting current and prospective students, as well as alumni and members of the Irvine community.
‘I think I like the performers the best,’ said Jennifer Quan, a second-year psychology and social behavior major. ‘We saw Jodaiko and [the Chinese Association Dance Crew]. Students for Political Activism was also pretty cool. They have a kiddie pool.’
For Anthony Pereyda, a second-year social ecology major and a member of SPA, relaxing in a kiddie pool was not as easy as it could have been, thanks to the overcast weather, although the stunt was for a good cause.
‘We’re raising awareness about fee increases,’ Pereyda said. ‘Students are swimming in debt. We’re paying more and the quality of our education is not going up. Middle-income families are falling through the cracks.’
Pereyda was joined by an aquatic companion that had been deposited in the pool earlier in the day.
‘Some renaissance guy dropped a goldfish in here,’ Pereyda said. ‘We tried to explain science to him and he called us heretics.’
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, Shane King, a second-year sociology major, suited up in medieval attire while an armor aficionado discussed the difference between ‘scale mail’ and ‘scale armor.’
‘Scale mail,’ according to the man who was helping King into his armor, was a term coined in the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, but the homemade suit of metal scales he displayed should more accurately be described as ‘armor.’
King described the act of being hit in the stomach by a sword while wearing a suit of armor.
‘It was a lot less painful than it would be without armor,’ King said. ‘You don’t feel much impact, but the noise is really loud. The clanging really gets to you.’
Perennial prizewinner Alberto Izarraraz, a fifth-year math major, took home a large stuffed anteater, which he won in a New University raffle. At last year’s Wayzgoose festival, he won a pair of concert tickets.
‘[Winning a stuffed anteater] feels pretty good,’ Izarraraz said. ‘I like it. I’m going to give it to my girlfriend.’
Aside from winning the anteater, Izarraraz’s favorite part of Wayzgoose was the classic car show.
One of the day’s most popular events was a performance by reggae-rock band Pepper, who attracted around 400 audience members, many of whom wandered over from nearby booths sponsored by their respective fraternities or sororities.
Brett Bollinger, singer and bassist for Pepper, commented that Aldrich Park was a good place to drink alcohol and ‘smoke weed.’
‘Do we have any drug abusers in the audience?’ asked Bollinger, prompting many audience members to cheer.
Other Wayzgoose participants opted to forego the pot-smoking in order to partake in the pleasures of other plants.
‘They have good corn,’ said Susan Armstrong, a second-year dance and sociology major. ‘That’s really it.’
Amid the petting zoos, the crazy costumes and the loud music, Wayzgoose’s myriad offerings proved to be confusing for some fairgoers.
‘It’s easy to get lost here,’ said Mia Cromarty, a second-year political science major. ‘It’s a circle. It has no beginning and no end, just forever wandering.’