Bowl Weekend set to be ‘very successful’

By Brendan Deady

Justin Surgent/Daily Collegian
Justin Surgent/Daily Collegian

The Orchard Hill Residential Area’s annual Bowl Weekend will proceed as planned on Friday and Saturday. In a partnership with the University of Massachusetts’ student-run radio station, WMUA, the Orchard Hill Area Government and the Bowl Weekend Planning Committee will be hosting their annual weekend carnival that includes free food, snacks, craft tables, inflatables, a movie, dance and live music.

Damien Cranshaw, the new OHAG governor, expects this year’s event to be one of the biggest in recent memory, a testament to the organization skills of all those involved, given the recent drama. In the past two months, the former Orchard Hill government resigned and a temporary freeze was placed on OHAG’s funds by the Student Government Association due to an alleged misuse of funds.

Some concerns surfaced over the fate of event the event during last month’s financial freeze, which prevented OHAG from making any financial transactions in preparation for Bowl Weekend. The freeze was lifted at the end of March and money was freed for Bowl Weekend, but the hold on the account had prevented any rentals to be made for a number of weeks and Orchard Hill was in need of a new government. Normal procedure requires 30 days for a new person to be appointed to a vacant position. However, an exception was made by the SGA to ensure that the Bowl Weekend tradition continued. Cranshaw, also a member of the Bowl Weekend Planning Committee, was appointed as the new OHAG governor by the SGA.

“Our biggest setback for the organization of this year’s Bowl Weekend was definitely the freeze placed on our funds,” Cranshaw said. “It set us back about two weeks.”

Planning for Bowl Weekend, however, had been in process prior to the SGA freeze and the resignation of OHAG. Despite the setback, Cranshaw says he expects good things for this year’s spring carnival.

“Through the dedication of the OHAG, the Bowl Weekend Planning Committee, House Council Members, Orchard Hill residents and everyone else involved in the planning process we were able to organize a very successful Bowl Weekend this year.” Cranshaw said.

Organizers have posted fliers across campus and have had tables set up in the dining commons in the past weeks in order to advertise the event. This year’s partner in the event, WMUA, also has a promotion advertising their participation on Saturday featured on their website’s sidebar.

This year’s event, in tradition with Bowl Weekend carnivals in years past, will be centered around its own distinct theme: “Bowlchella”, a play on the name of the popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that takes place annually at the Polo Empire Club in Indio, Calif.

The weekend’s events kick off on Friday night with a dance and live DJ hosted in Grayson Hall beginning at 7 p.m. The carnival continues the following day with events commencing at 1 p.m. A cookout catered by UMass Dining will be taking place, which is set to end at 5 p.m. Popcorn and cotton candy machines will also be available for picking by carnival goers.

This year’s event also features some new additions for its free entertainment – most notably a stage, which was made possible through the partnership with WMUA. The stage will be set up around Orchard Hill’s quad and will feature a lineup of local bands performing live music throughout the day.

Along with live music, the carnival offers a number of inflatable obstacle courses, numerous craft booths, a free movie showing and a tie-dye station. The weekend will come to a conclusion with a camp fire that begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and is set to end at 10 p.m. Ingredients for making s’mores will be provided.

Despite only having a few short weeks to make most of the preparations for this year’s event Cranshaw and his fellow organizers have put together a fun and relaxing weekend just in time for the incoming stress of finals. The temporary freeze on OHAG’s account did not prevent them and their collaborators from ensuring the tradition of Bowl Weekend would continue.

“This year’s Bowl Weekend is going to be a great event – just as good if not better than (in) years past,” Cranshaw said.

Brendan Deady can be reached at [email protected]

Editor’s Note: The Saturday carnival and music festival has been postponed until Sunday due to impending storms: http://on.fb.me/1nNDPrj.