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An Aggie Guide to UC Davis Picnic Day 2018

You're in for a treat at this annual Davis celebration! Here are tips on parking, events, family fun, and shows. (Share this blog with visitors, too!)

On April 21, 2018, it’s that time of year again for every UC Davis student’s favorite event—Picnic Day! This year, the theme for the annual celebration is Where the Sun Shines to commemorate the bright, welcoming environment and the amount of sunshine that pours onto Davis during the spring and summertime.

If you are a student who has never attended Picnic Day before, fear not! Below, check out a ton of key events and notes for you to use throughout the day. Whether you’re looking to hang out with friends or bond with family, there’s something available for everyone on Picnic Day. (Remember to share this link with anyone you’ve invited to join you: This event isn’t for Aggies only!)

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Getting to the event

As a student, you may be more familiar with the campus than most. With parking and traffic to consider, the Picnic Day site has a page dedicated to directions.

As Picnic Day is notorious for starting early, tell any guests you’ve invited to make sure to plan accordingly, to avoid spending most of the day trying to find parking!

Popular events

There is so much to see and do that it’s best to list some of the most “famousevents. Some people like to take part in these, while others prefer to avoid the crowds and go to the lesser-known activities. For those looking for the quintessential Picnic Day experience, the events that often draw the most attention include:

  • Picnic Day Parade. No Picnic Day is complete without the annual kick-off of the morning parade! The event begins at 10 a.m. across from Wickson Hall and continues through campus and into Downtown Davis.
  • Doxie Derby. Calling all dog lovers! Join the crowd at the ARC Pavilion for an absolutely adorable dachshund race from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Cockroach Racing. This eccentric and surprisingly exciting event will be taking place all day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Briggs Hall.
  • Band-uh!’s Battle of the Bands. From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., the beloved Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! will perform at Mrak Hall.
  • Materials Magic Show. Presented by the Material Advantage Student Chapter, three chemistry magic shows will take place in the Science Lecture Hall 123 at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m.
  • Picnic Day Fashion Show: Impression/Expression. Check out the student stylings of the UC Davis Fashion & Design Society at their annual Picnic Day Fashion Show! The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ARC Ballroom.
  • Entertainment stages. A variety of performers will be on the stages located at the East Quad, the ARC (Activities and Recreation Center), the SCC Courtyard, and the Vanderhoef Quad.

Pull out your Picnic Day map to strategically plan which events you want to see. That way, you don’t have to go back and forth across campus for each activity.

Family and kid-friendly activities

If you have siblings or cousins aged 5 or younger, there are several options for interactive events that they will love.

  • Petting Zoo. Go to the Cole Facility and pet animals including lambs, calves, and goats. Time: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Rescued Pigeons and Doves. Come to Hutchinson Field to see the domesticated and unreleasable birds who are up for adoption by the pigeon rescue organization Palomacy. Time: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • The Seed Art. Get “naturally” creative at the Plant & Environmental Science Building Lawn. Time: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • The Authentic Aggie Picnic Zone. If you want a place that has it all, go to the Vanderhoef Quad for entertainment, food trucks, face painting, and giveaways! Time: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

There are also plenty more options listed on the Schedule of Events, in addition to a whole page online dedicated to the Children’s Discovery Fair that takes place on Picnic Day.

Entertainment and shows

If you want to see some awesome dancing or musical performances, there are so many options all across campus. There will be four stages. We’ve listed some of our favorite acts, but it’s good to look at the Picnic Day Entertainment List so you don’t miss the ones you’d really like to see.

  • The Quad
    • Kindred Spirits, 11:00–11:40 a.m.
    • The Liquid Hotplates, 12:20–12:35 p.m.
  • The Rock
    • The Five Thirty, 2:10-2:55 p.m.
    • Angelboy + the Halos, 3:30–4:00 p.m.
  • The ARC
    • Afterglow, 12:00–12:15 p.m.
    • Katgrüvs, 12:50–1:35 p.m.
  • CAAA stage
    • Pepperjack, 12:55–1:30 p.m.

For a complete listing of events, shows, and activities, and to download a Picnic Day app, visit the Picnic Day website.

As a Picnic Day veteran, I recommend you don’t stress too much about fitting absolutely everything into your schedule, though! Focus on having fun with those you care about and, I assure you, the rest will fall into place. Have a great Picnic Day!

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