Featuring medieval jousts, a classic car show and enough food to please anyone’s tastebuds, the Associated Students of UC Irvine hosted the 47th annual Wayzgoose celebration in Aldrich Park on Saturday, April 19.
The medieval-themed festival, held since the 1960s, began at 9 a.m. A few students began the celebration with short performances for the early crowd.
Wayzgoose never forgets to include a medieval section called the Adrian Empire. Men dressed in approximately 120 pounds of armor battled with swords, women in medieval clothing danced and spun wool and the Wizard magician amazed children with magic tricks. The celebration continued with a bird show, with lots of cheers from the crowd.
Across from the Adrian Empire, the Carnival section attracted children, as they scurried along to go on inflatable rides. Other attractions included riding ponies, and the Santa Ana Zoo presented animals similar to anteaters.
The 10th Annual Cars on the Green featured classic luxury cars lined up at the side of Aldrich Park with inquisitive visitors and enthusiastic owners who exchanged their knowledge and passion for beautiful cars.
“This is my first time showcasing my car at UCI’s car show and so far, I am enjoying my time,” said Randy Lastrades, owner of a 2002 Chevy Corvette.
Other car models at the event dated as far back as 1927. Many of the car owners at the event either built or restored the automobiles themselves, such as Jim Stein, a Lake Forest resident who spent two years building his 1968 Chevy Corvette. While proud of his creation, Stein stressed the amount of time he spent building the car.
“I always tell them that once you have a wife and kids, you can spend time on building cars,” Stein said.
Across Aldrich Park, Adeli Duron, program coordinator for UCI’s Center for Service in Action, presented the 2008 Earth Day. Among the hosts of eco-friendly vendors were BuyGreen.com, Akeena Solar and Veggie Grill. Jumpstart had a storytelling session and at the Recycled Art Contest booth, the display of three UCI student art works made from recyclable materials drew crowds. The winner of the Recycled Art Contest was an Irvine couple, A. and W. Harris, of Verano Place.
In celebration of Earth Day, Student Taskforce Advocating Reducing Tobacco and the Student Health Education Center put together a mini-movie screening for the top three videos in their “Pause for a Cause Video Contest,” which began last week.
The winners of the Pause for a Cause video contest were Oscar Roque, a second-year biomedical engineering major and Mandeep Singh, a second-year film and media studies major, whose video was titled, “Big Tobacco Board Meeting.”
“I made this video because I want the world to know how tobacco can cause severe health problems, emotional pain on love ones and damage the environment,” Oscar said. Oscar’s video was chosen among eight videos and he won the grand prize of $250 for his contribution.
Vicky Chan, a second-year sociology major at the event, commented, “Personally, I do not like how tobacco is affecting the environment. That is why I am motivated to spread awareness.”
One booth at the event mixed business skills with environmentalism as a group of student entrepreneurs promoted a product known as Eco-Q, which works to make grill-cooking using charcoal less harmful to the environment. Ngoc Nguyen, a fourth-year biological sciences major who tabled for the product, explained how it is safer for the environment because it is easier to prepare.
“Unlike all the other charcoals where it takes 10 minutes to prepare, … it’s already shaped and ready to go in about three minutes,” Nguyen said.
Among other participants at Wayzgoose were the March of Dimes, Model United Nations, Amnesty International, Anteaters for Israel and United Nation’s Children’s Fund at UCI. These organizations promote international peace, or the safety and health of children, by urging government officials to take action and responsibility. Such groups often focus on suggesting ideas for collaborative efforts between students and politicians and advocating resolutions for the safety and concerns of people.
Outside of promoting their organizations at Wayzgoose, politically active groups at the event also used the festival as a medium to attract new members. Melanie Hannibal, a third-year psychology major mentioned how, through tabling for UNICEF, she attracted the interest of officials from the Long Beach and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.
“We’ve met a couple of really good people that are really interested. … We talked to a couple teachers that were interested in implementing [UNICEF] into their schools,” Hannibal said.
Doris Garcia, a fourth-year sociology major, agreed with Hannibal in terms of using the event as a way to recruit new members to join her organization, Alyansa Ng Mga Kababayan.
“We wanted to show that we’re a unified group because Alyansa is the youngest group in the Cross-Cultural Center,” Garcia said. “We came out to Wayzgoose because all the organizations are here and we can get a lot of membership. It’s a central event.”
Garcia helped paint a portrait of Filipino-Americans’ immigrant experience and presented conditions with fellow members of Alyansa.
Wayzgoose was not without its dance stage. The Flamenco Fuego received many cheers from the crowd as they danced to Spanish music, followed by the Salamat Belly Dance Troupe, which also received a warm welcome.
The music stage also livened up the crowd starting with the Battle of the Bands in the morning to Del tha Funky Homosapien in the late afternoon.
The festivities throughout the day extended beyond Aldrich Park to the more academic side of campus life, as representatives from the UCI libraries worked selling books at the Science Library. Trams also drove around Ring Mall giving campus tours to prospective students.
With all the festivities going on, it was easy to get lost in the action such as in the case of a joint booth set up by the Environmental Law Society, Pre-Law Society and the Women’s Law Association.
Although a few students, such as second-year political science and economics double-major Eric Demauro, did not like the event (“It sucked compared to UCSD’s Sungod”), many others were pleased with Wayzgoose.
“There was a lot of advertisement in the paper,” said Angelo Xu, a second-year business economics major. “The New U did a very, very good job.”
Kareem Elsayed, 22, a former president of the Muslim Student Union and 2006 graduate of UCI, was happy with the number of students who came out to the event.
“In terms of sales, [MSU] had the longest line … for the longest time,” Elsayed said proudly. Elsayed was especially proud that his club’s booth gained popular attention for selling shawerma, a Middle Eastern sandwich with shaved beef and chicken.
Ultimately, Programs Coordinator Alex Kushner believed the event was successful and comparable to UC San Diego’s annual Sungod festival.
“Wayzgoose is about the community and the neighboring community. We’ve made a huge progress. We won’t have our own Sungod, but we’re getting there,” Kushner said. “UCI innovates in the world of events, even if we don’t get a lot of love for it