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Section Header
Spring Fling arrives

Photo
DAVID HARDEN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Carnival workers Rick Grissom and Clement Jones, both from Texas, put together the Mega Drop ride, which is one of 20 rides at this year's Spring Fling at Rillito Downs on North First Avenue.
By Cara O'Connor
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 10, 2003

After more than week of setting up carnival booths, rides and other attractions, the gates are finally ready to open.

Today marks the first day of ASUA's 29th annual Spring Fling, the largest student-run carnival in the nation.

The carnival, which features more than 30 rides and 48 food and game booths, will run through Sunday at the Rillito River Park, 4502 N. First Ave. The booths are sponsored by more than 70 campus clubs and organizations, organizers said.

This year's newest attraction is the deep-fried candy bar booth run by the Management Information Systems Association and the Business and Public Administration Student Council, said Morgan Rose, director of Public Relations for Spring Fling. The candy bars (or Twinkies) are dipped in batter, deep-fried and served with powdered sugar.

Other popular carnival treats include roasted corn and Krispy Kreme donuts, she said.

Organizers expect that the Mega Drop ride, as in previous years, will be a fair-goer favorite this year. Mega Drop riders experience a 10-story free fall in five seconds, Rose said.

Planners expect about 40,000 people to attend Spring Fling, grossing more than half a million dollars, Rose said.

The clubs will take home about $100,000, and the rest of the money will be used to pay for the loans and other expenses of putting on the event. Rose said that last year ASUA ended up with a $3,000 profit.

"It is a pretty good fundraiser, and people have fun doing it," said Lindsay Urbank, the Spring Fling club-relations director.

"We like the fact that we can come together as an organization and bring all our members," said Cat Martinez, a regional representative in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

SHPE will sell Mexican food from "El Gero Canelo" restaurant for the second year in a row. Last year the club made about $4,000, but members expect to double the club's profits this year, Martinez said.

Students must use tickets to purchase all food, rides and games. Each ticket costs 50 cents; rides typically cost around six tickets apiece, Rose said.

Admission is $3, or free with a Cat Card, and the carnival runs from 4 p.m. to midnight today and tomorrow, 12 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

A shuttle will run every half hour from the flagpole in front of Old Main to the park, beginning 30 minutes before gates open and ending 30 minutes after closing. Planning for Spring Fling began in August.

"We start when school starts," Rose said.

Ten event directors and more than 100 people organized and planned the massive event, and hundreds of club members will man the booths this weekend, Rose said.

"I am looking forward to working with my other club members," said Mia Martinez, an Arizona Blue Chip member who will help run the kettle corn booth. "I think that people should come out just to have a great time and to support other students,"

For more information about the carnival, call the 24-hour Spring Fling hotline at 621-5610.


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