Bands, food and fun at Springfest

By April DeJarlais

This Saturday, if the smell of fried delicacies and beer wafts your way and you hear strains of music that you’re pretty sure aren’t coming from your neighbor’s window, it means you’re late to Macalester’s 2009 Springfest. A 36-year Macalester tradition, Springfest celebrates the end of freak snowstorms and ushers in Minnesota springtime, while giving students a chance to relax before finals kick in. As in years past, the event is open to the public. Entry is free for Macalester students, staff and faculty with an ID, and $15 for others.

“We’re reaching out to the community and breaking the [Macalester] bubble,” Jenny Chon ’09 said.

Music begins at 3 p.m. with Macalester student bands The Muskies, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, followed by Japanther and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Headlining is nationally recognized hip-hop duo Blackalicious.

Food fare will be hearken back to (or for those who have never been, an exciting preview of) the Minnesota State Fair, with a vendor hawking cheese curds and other foods swathed in tasty grease.

The beer garden will be open to all attendees over 21 with an ID. Featured beer will be Finnegan’s Irish Amber, from a nonprofit organization that focuses on reducing poverty and promoting entrepreneurism.

Once you’ve reached your monthly caloric intake for a month and listened to some live music, Springfest will still have more to offer. Organizers Jenny Chon and Corbin Cavallero ’11 have arranged for picture and temporary tattoo booths, a giraffe bouncy house and a collaborative art project featuring sumi ink.

The art project is inspired by the Los Angeles-based Sumi Ink Club. Macalester’s version of the club will use two large white canvasses, on which participants can draw with the black sumi ink and brushes. Chon and Cavallero are looking into displaying the art in the Campus Center.

“It’s open to anyone with skill or lack of skill,” Cavallero said.

Specially designed Springfest t-shirts, in various shades of springtime blue, will be available for $5.

Cavallero and Chon called planning Springfest “a lot of work, but fun.” Cavallero is undecided as to whether he will work with next year’s Springfest, due to the tendency of event planning to get bogged down in small decisions.

“You can’t always push forward as much as you like,” he said.

Contacting band agents appeals to him more, he said. This year, he said, he is excited for the music, and has gotten a lot of positive feedback from students on the Springfest lineup.

Chon and Cavallero stressed that volunteer spots are still available for the event. Volunteers will receive a food voucher and a free t-shirt.

Weather forecasts from The Weather Channel predict 60 degrees with a 40 percent chance of rain for the day of Springfest. Regardless of a few raindrops, organizers urge Macalester students to attend.

“There’s still a lot to make sure it gets done, but I think it’ll work out nicely,” Chon said.