By Allison Lechman
I’m quietly cruising down Stockdale Highway on a Friday night. My car windows are rolled down, the cool wind carelessly flows through my hair while I look out my driver’s side window. As I approach CSU Bakersfield, I can hear a distant rumble of music become louder the closer I get and I can see a premiere light that travels from the campus grounds up into the night sky. The source of all these lights and commotion lead to the event known as none-other than Runner Nights.
According to the CSUB website, “Runner Nights is a division-wide collaborative event series that aims to bring students together, while providing late night activities filled with excitement!”
This event is designed exclusively for the students of CSUB. The event provides tasty food, fun rides, outgoing dancing, jamming music, good games and a full-out photo booth, all for free, all for fun. It is 9:30 p.m. and I’m walking into the fenced off Don Hart East Lawn which has been transformed into a pop-up carnival.
To my right, I can see a huge slide towering high with a flashing sign on the top with the words “FUN SLIDE” illuminated in different colors.
In the far back right corner of the event stands a Ferris wheel outlined by lime-green neon lights.
CSUB students are scattered. Some are standing in line to ride the Ferris wheel, others are dancing around the DJ and some are chatting to friends.
As my eyes scan the area, the sweet smell of kettle corn distracts me.
This is my first time attending Runner Nights and it is making a good first impression.
For some students on the other hand, this isn’t their first time.
“I’ve been before and it gets better every year. This is the best so far,” said Sean Acord, geology major.
I’m now walking over to the DJ. There is a flashy structure decked out with lights and speakers. The MC points his mic into the crowd prompting them to sing the words to a hip-hop song. I can see students dancing and enjoying themselves.
I continue to walk around the event. I see food vendors selling common carnival foods.
There are many choices including snow cones, nachos and churros.
I patiently wait in line knowing the reward of free food is at the end.
“I like that there is a lot of students out here. I like that we get free food,” said Victoria Vargas, junior at CSUB.
“I think it’s really fun that all us students can come together,” said Runner Nights check-in worker and student, Carisse Geronimo.
This night I met four new people. Runner Nights is an event filled with diverse people and good vibes.