Students turn out for free night of fun


Chelsea L. McDowell

Features Editor


In a line that stretched all the way to the Student Union patio from the Don Hart East lawn, CSU Bakersfield students waited eagerly for the Fall Runner Nights Carnival gates to open Friday night.

“We the best music! Another one! DJ Khaled! You stick out of the crowd, baby, it’s a no-brainer” sang Justin Bieber from the DJ’s stereo, inviting students into the carnival at 9 o’clock.

Colorful, neon lights that flashed in advertisement of the carnival rides could be seen from Stockdale Highway. Carnival rides consisted of a Fun Slide, Ferris Wheel, Balloon Fiesta— and two new editions to the fair—The Sizzler and the Rock-O-Plane. The rides were located on the east side of the fair upon entry.

After helping CSUB Housing set up its fortune telling tent, Ignacio Contreras, a junior business administration and marketing major, was one of the first students to experience the fair.

“This is the best one yet,” said Contreras. “There’s way more rides and more fun.”

On the west side of the fair, the clubs of CSUB set up booths that offered games to carnival goers in order to raise awareness for their meetings.

Associated Students, Inc. held a table that allowed students to spin a wheel to win a prize next to CSUB’s men swimming team. Shirtless and lively, the swim team provided a dunk tank to challenge the aim of students passing by.

Artists who specialized in neon face paint and a game of human Hungry Hungry Hippos, in which participants are harnessed and attached to corners of an inflatable bounce house, sat in between the booths.

Food trucks, located toward the back of the fair, offered free food and drinks. Corndogs, frozen lemonade, tacos and fries, and kettle corn were some of the options students could choose from. Alcoholic beverages were not made available to students.

In the center of the carnival site occupied the stage that housed the DJ. Also on stage was Master of Ceremony Mohammed Cook, a CSUB alumnus whose job it was to remind those in attendance to remain hydrated and enjoy themselves.

Many carnival goers were there for the first time and had no idea what to expect.

Freshman nursing student Angela Lopez was surprised by the Runner Nights Carnival.

“I was expecting it to be a lot of fun. I was not expecting the rides,” Lopez said.

By 10:15 p.m. 1,176 CSUB students were let inside the gate. The line then reached The Runner module.

Students were brought to a cleared area in front of the DJ, which acted as the dance floor, with late 2000’s hits like Cupid’s 2007 song “Cupid’s Shuffle” and New Boyz’s 2009 hit “You’re a Jerk.” They remained gathered on the dance floor as the DJ played radio-edited hip hop and Latin pop.

Junior kinesiology major Justin Lyons attended the fair.

“It’s cool, beautiful students … Free stuff,” Lyons said in between bites of his Popsicle. “You meet people you don’t see in a classroom.”

Lines to get on rides grew and caused a wait time for students. Junior psychology major Taylor Garcia and two friends waited in line for the Rock-O-Wheel for thirty minutes and were still a considerable distance from the front of the line.

Biology graduate Iesha Clouden and senior biology major Prit Deol were among those who rode on the Sizzler, the kind of ride that was created to make riders dizzy.

“Lines are really long, that’s the only thing I don’t like,” Deol said.

Clouden and Deol agreed that while it was annoying to have to wait in line to get into the fair, and then to get on the rides or for food, with the amount of people in attendance, it was understandable.

By 11:38 p.m. 1,914 students were let into the event that ended at 1 a.m.

President Lynnette Zelezny was among those who attended the fair. This is her first fall semester as president and she was excited to observe the carnival.

“This is a special event,” said Zelezny. “I have never participated in such a fun event with students while in the CSU system.”