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Campus & Community

Spring Fest Blooms Despite Wintry Temps

SEE Event Draws Crowd With Live Bands, Balloon Animals and a Lot of ‘Booms’

By Karen Shih ’09

fireworks explode over mckeldin mall

A fireworks display over McKeldin Mall on Friday night capped Spring Fest, an annual outdoor celebration featuring inflatables, musical performances, vendors and giveaways.

Photo by Riley N. Sims Ph.D. '23

Awkwardly racing through an adult-sized inflatable obstacle course knocked the glasses right off senior Ashwin Jacob’s nose, as he finished behind friend Helena Lee ’24 during Spring Fest on Friday.

They were among hundreds of students who braved apocalyptic skies and unseasonable cold for Student Entertainment Events’ annual arts and culture festival on McKeldin Mall.

Terps lined up for free scoops of Maryland Dairy ice cream and entertainment from a rotating lineup on stage, including Not My Cargos kicking things off with a “queer platonic love song” and a cappella group DaCadence, whose members are warming up for nationals later this month.

“It’s a good way to take your mind off things,” said Lee, “and have a little break so you can go back to studying.”

Emily Garcia ’24 was among the many student vendors who sold everything from handmade jewelry to crocheted bags and clothing. Through her small business, Wittle Spoonie, she offered cute stickers and prints of her own design.

“I started my business at UMD—the Dingman Center really helped me grow—so I jump for it any time there’s a chance to sell on campus,” she said.

Throughout the evening, students collected balloon flowers and caricatures, took on their friends at inflatable boxing and collected swag, including commemorative Art Attack bucket hats promoting SEE’s 40th show on May 3 and 4. (The artist has yet to be announced.)

As the winds died down, the evening ended with a spectacular fireworks show.

person looks at clothes on rack

Mario Alvarenga ’27 looks at clothing apparel from Sundry Streetbrand, one of many student vendors selling their wares at Spring Fest. (Photo by Riley N. Sims Ph.D. '23)

a lot of people shot

Terps shopped along the sidewalks criss-crossing McKeldin Mall. (Photo by Riley N. Sims Ph.D. '23)

an artist shows a caricature to a subject

Caricature artist Bill Wright (left) shows Abril Tejedor ’27 and Aidan Suapengco ’27 his completed drawing of them during Spring Fest. (Photo by Riley N. Sims Ph.D. '23)

a woman palys a guitar and sings

The band Not My Cargos performs at Spring Fest. (Photo by Dylan Singleton)

3 people display balloon animals

From left, Jenny Taguba '27, Malayna Johnson '27 and Carmen Gregory '27 pose with balloon animals. (Photo by Dylan Singleton)

person slides down inflatable slide

Edina Konjhodzic '24 slides down an inflatable obstacle course at Spring Fest. The adult-size structure had Terps lined up and laughing (Photo by Dylan Singleton)

student dance group dances and plays drums

The student group Terp Lions performs a Chinese lion dance. (Photo by Riley N. Sims Ph.D. '23)

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