Bright lights shine at Runner Nights

Sofia Martinez, Reporter

  This year, the fifth annual Runner Nights was held on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Runner Nights is an event series that brings fun activities for CSU Bakersfield students and faculty members to campus. Promo Day on Sept. 9, 2019 previewed the foods available, attractions, rides, booths, and more.

  Campus Programming Coordinator Afaf Aldhulay said there will be a variety of free food, from tacos to hot dogs, ice cream, kettle corn, frozen lemonades, agua frescas, and more. “We will have three large rides, a super slide, carnival multiplayer games, club booth activities, photo booth, face painting and temporary body art, dunk tank, and a few inflatable games. This year they included a new high-thrill ride and more inflatable, interactive games.” said Aldhulay.

  About 2,000 people attended Runner Nights last year, and to speed up the process of entering the event, there was more security. There was also a DJ in the middle of the grass field who played for the night, and on the right-hand side were the four major attractions: a ferris wheel, gravity ride, slides, and a ‘Sizzler’ attraction. On the left-hand side there was smaller attractions, such as a dunk tank, a photo booth, a fortune teller, club tables, and more. The back had a variety of food available for everyone.

  While people waiting in the line for the event to open, there was a test run on the gravity ride, and less than a minute into the test, the gate of the ride swung open and started to hit against the control pa. Students in front of the line could faintly hear a group of students inside yelling at the operators to “stop the ride!” The ride was working fine after they removed the broken gate, and for the rest of the night nothing else went wrong.

  Haley Zavala, a criminal justice major, said that she liked the upbeat music, and when the DJ played the “Cupid Shuffle” almost everyone got up to dance. “The food was pretty good. I loved the chicken and shrimp kabobs. The leapfrog game was fun, but it would have been nice to see more of challenging activities. They should have added a theme like a neon carnival or a decade theme where everyone would dress up!” said Zavala.

  “I loved that they had a lot of activities, they didn’t just have a lot of rides,” said Valentina Pacheco, a junior and a human biology major. “I like how they had a variety of games too. I was really hoping they would’ve brought back the ride that you’re caged in and it goes around in circles. Yesterday would have been actually the perfect day to have a theme since it fell right on Friday the 13th.”

  Students enjoyed the night, going on the rides, dancing, eating the free food, and hanging out with friends. For Runner Nights in the spring semester, instead of multiple attractions there will only be one: an artist. The name of the artist will be revealed in the spring.