Photo by: Layne Litsinger
The smell of fried foods wafted through campus Saturday. Music blasted at McKeldin Mall as students, families, alumni and community members all gathered for the 18th annual Maryland Day celebration on April 30 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Despite the weather being cloudy and chilly, the event drew in a crowd of almost 100,000 people, who enjoy the many different tents with opportunities to receive free prizes.
Maryland Day hosted over 400 different attractions and events. These attractions were set up within six different ‘neighborhoods’ on campus, with the mall being the central location called Terp Town Center for the majority of events.
One of the biggest attractions was the autograph signing by the Men and Women’s basketball teams at the center of the mall.
There were also moon bounces, a bungee jump, and different games and wheels to spin in order to win prizes. The Gymkana group also put on a performance for viewers.
Zachary Cherna, a junior pre-med and finance major, worked at the Infant and Child Studies Consortium tent.
This tent has been at Maryland Day for over seven years and encouraged parents to sign up for their research database to increase the amount of children participants in their studies.
“There’s been a couple hundred people who have stopped by so far, and we’ve been open for maybe four hours now,” said Cherna. “People have been stopping by all day long its really busy…and we give out a lot of free stuff and share free activities for children.”
Many tents like the Infant Child Studies Consortium encouraged people to engage in learning about what each tent had to offer.
Timothy Colanta, a freshman government and politics major, enjoyed his first time at Maryland Day and all of the free items he and his friends received at the different tents.
“We got like a whole bag of goodies like a toy brain from the research tent,” said Colanta.
Colanta visited the office of sustainability tent and the research tent first, which he and his friends liked. He said he definitely would go to Maryland Day again next year.
Another freshman government and politics major Audrey Anderlee worked at the information booth during the event. Anderlee helped direct people on campus and provided maps and pamphlets.
She found Maryland Day fascinating because she lives in Ohio and had never experienced an event like this one.
“I’m from Ohio so I’ve never been to a Maryland Day before and it seems like such a cool way to kind of show off the different departments in our school,” said Anderlee. “Everyone seems to be having a really great time.”
Maryland Day will continue to attract more visitors each year with more tents and activities available to people as they visit the campus.