Opinion: Students’ spirits light up at ‘Runner Nights carnival

Kiara Zabala, Outreach and Recruitment

Students push themselves off the Fun Slide. Photo by Ranara Lim / The Runner

California State University, Bakersfield hosted it’s ‘Runner Nights Carnival in person for the first time in three years since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The carnival offered free food, games, rides and music for everyone to enjoy. 

Students were very happy with the overall experience from this event on Friday night. 

Blessing Umassor, a senior nursing major commented on the carnival, “I’m feeling good. It’s a great carnival. It’s perfect.” 

Another student, Harleen Kaur, a freshmen pre-health major, also thought this carnival was perfect: “It’s so good. It’s like, you’ve been studying for a long time, especially midterm season, you finally get a breather to spend more time with your friends… I think it’s perfect.” 

Students were thrilled that the carnival was more than what they expected. When the word “free” is heard, the quality is expected to dwindle a bit. However, it seems the community for CSUB that put this together tried their hardest to make it as great as it ended up being.  

For a lot of students, this was their first Runner Nights Carnival. Most did not know what to expect, but found joy that night in parking lot I. The carnival offered four rides: the Ferris wheel, a three-lane slide, the rocket ships and the two-person swings.  

The carnival also had a game where you were required to pay-to-play that involved a mallet and aiming frogs.  

Another treat for those in attendance was a member from the swim team getting dunked in a dunk tank, despite the weather outside continuing to drop. 

Aside from the CSUB community, local businesses also took this opportunity to get their names out there at such a big event.  

Aguas Karen was one local business that was in attendance. 

Anna Karen Munguia, the owner of Aguas Karen, sold mini pancakes and esquites- which they sold out of everything completely. 

Even though they hadn’t had a chance to walk around yet, Munguia said that her favorite part of the night was seeing everyone smile after getting their goodies. 

The overall conclusion of the first ‘Runner Nights Carnival since the pandemic was that it was a good turnout. Between the carnival rides and the perfect timing of landing at the end of midterms week, not to mention that this entire experience was free, the carnival was a success.  

The students and, overall, the entire campus community, enjoyed what CSUB was able to put together in order to give students a great way to destress in between midterms and spring break.  

The carnival was held March 24, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. It was a free carnival open to all current students, staff and faculty from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. To get into the designated carnival area, students had to present their school IDs and get checked by a handheld metal detector. Students were also handed three tickets, two were for snacks and one was for an actual meal. 

Hopefully, we can see the ‘Runner Carnival come back again next year.