Wayzgoose 2011 Flies Again

Eric Lim/New University

UC Irvine dressed to impress on Saturday, hosting the annual Celebrate UCI, attracting prospective and current students and alumni to Aldrich Park and Ring Road on April 16.

Celebrate UCI is a day devoted to UCI recruitment and entertainment, and includes Wayzgoose outdoor festival, an open house and a car show.

Aldrich Park was alive on the sunny day, its dirt paths lined with booths, tents and stalls offering games, food and attractions of all sorts. Music filled the air as a concert stage was set up, and a car show, a popular tradition, featured some of the hottest sets of wheels to grace the grass of Aldrich Park. A large ferris wheel, a sight never before seen at past festivals, catered to dozens of guests at a time.

“I think that this Wayzgoose has a lot more people than the years past,” said Grace Poon, vice president of Student Service and the main organizer of the entire event. “The weather is perfect for a day like this.”

UCI’s Wayzgoose remains a major campus event for both prospective and current students alike, giving prospective students a taste of the collegiate experience while entertaining current students and alumni. The Wayzgoose tradition began at UCI as a medieval-themed festival, much like a Renaissance fair, but has since grown and modernized into a large-scale family-friendly occasion. Held in conjunction with Celebrate UCI, Wayzgoose contributes to one of the liveliest days here at UCI where Anteater school spirit truly comes alive.

“Wayzgoose is the time where interns really understand how to exactly plan a lot of things” Poon said. “It’s a really cool event because it’s the third major event of the school year.”

The Associated Students began planning this grand event shortly after hosting homecoming, around the middle of February. Much effort was dedicated to put into finding and implementing new ideas and new methods to create a continuously improving tradition here at UCI. Of these innovations were the Face-in-the-Hole placards, a comical addition that potentially would become a continuing attraction in future Wayzgoose events. Also of note is the Ferris wheel, a $3,000-dollar attraction that contributed to many joyous rides for visitors and guests.

According to Poon, who was involved in Wayzgoose for the fourth consecutive year, the main challenge of such an event was creating new innovations that would be more fun and attract more people, while still remaining within the bounds of the event’s traditions.

Approximately 130 clubs and organizations were present at Wayzgoose this year, from school clubs selling boba or Korean BBQ to the Sustainable Living Roadshow. Of particular interest was the Esperance chapter of the Adrian Empire, a medieval re-creator group that has been at Wayzgoose for over six years. This enthusiastic organization pitched a canvas tent and set up a dueling ring where members, fully clad in thick steel armor and wielding steel swords and maces, fought each other in an epic clash reminiscent of the olden days.

“We are a non-profit, educational organization doing medieval re-creation. We do combat, arts and science, archery and ministry,” said Sir Jamie the Red Knight, veteran member of the Adrian Empire and, most epic of all, a UCI alumni. “We are delighted to be here, we come back every year. This is one of our favorite demos.”

It was clear by the end of the day that, for a large body of students here at UCI Irvine, Wayzgoose was definitely pleasing.

“I’m here to check out the food, be with my friends and really, to be reminded of what UCI has to offer,” Jose Flores, a third-year biology and philosophy major said. “It’s nice to come back and sort of see what it was like when I was first coming here and being excited about everything that was going on at UCI.”

Flores was one of countless student attendees enjoying the day at Wayzgoose this year.

“I wish that UCI was like this everyday.”