Spring Carnival kicks off with Midway Opening Ceremony
Carnegie Mellon students, faculty, and alumni, as well as members of the surrounding community gathered in the Morewood parking lot on Thursday afternoon for the official kickoff of Spring Carnival, the Midway Opening Ceremony.
The ceremony featured speeches from Head of Booth and senior information systems major Rachel Crown, Dean of Student Affairs Gina Casalegno, university President Subra Suresh, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Spring Carnival Committee Co-Chairs senior lighting design major Jackson Gallagher and senior statistics major Emily Hrin, with the rest of the members of the Spring Carnival Committee watching from scaffolding behind them.
Many of the speakers acknowledged Carnival’s importance to the university community, a nod to the fact that this is Carnegie Mellon’s 100th Carnival.
“Carnival is a tradition we all hold very dear in our hearts,” Hrin said. “Carnival has existed for a hundred years while the university has lasted for about 110. So Carnival started very early on in this university’s life.”
“There’s one common theme that stands true throughout the last hundred years of Carnival in that it is the time for the entire campus body to come together, unite, and have a weekend of fun and excitement,” Gallagher said.
“I didn’t realize how important the hundred year anniversary was until [Hrin] said that Carnegie Mellon’s only been around for 110 years,” said sophomore mechanical engineering major Deepak Gopalakrishnan. “After watching the ceremony, I understand why it’s a big deal, why the hundred year anniversary is so important.”
Other speakers remarked on the varied traditions of Carnival and their evolution over time, mentioning Buggy, Booth, plank jousting, circuses, canoe tilts, and bear wrestling.
“[Booth] is only the beginning of what carnival has to offer,” Casalegno said. “This year, and like in the past several years, booth is a representation of the ways that Carnival has grown over the last hundred years.”
“[Carnival] is a celebration of everything that is CMU, through the buggies, and the booths ... and everything else that is a part of it that brings the alumni and the community back,” Peduto said.
Many speakers commented on the pride in Carnegie Mellon and fellow students that Spring Carnival generates.
“[Carnival] is the best weekend to be a Tartan at Carnegie Mellon,” Casalegno said.
“In a uniquely Carnegie Mellon way, this event also brings together the creative spirit of the Carnegie Mellon community,” Suresh said.
Carnival’s ability to connect Carnegie Mellon students and alumni with the surrounding Pittsburgh neighborhoods and foster a sense of community was also a popular topic.
“Carnival is one of the city of Pittsburgh’s longest running traditions,” Peduto said. “It is something that not only includes the university but the community as well.”
“In addition to being a tradition, the Carnival has also evolved over the last several years as the main focal point to connect with the region and the city,” Suresh said.
Each speaker thanked the Spring Carnival Committee, as well as other members of the Carnegie Mellon community, who gave their time and efforts into creating this year’s Carnival.
“I liked that the Carnival Committee was up on the scaffolds during the whole ceremony,” said Sloane Macklin, a first-year biomedical engineering and material science double major. “I liked that they got recognition for all their hard work.”
The ceremony concluded with the cutting of the ribbon to Midway’s entrance and a performance by the Carnegie Mellon Kiltie Band.
“Let’s cut this ribbon and get this party started!” Peduto said.