Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 14, 2024

Students make do with downsized Spring Fair in rainy weather

By CATHY WANG | May 5, 2023

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STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR

Students savored local food in outdoor seatings.

The University held its 52nd Annual Spring Fair from April 27 to April 30. This year’s Spring Fair, following the precedent set by the previous two years, was planned by the Office of Leadership Engagement and Experiential Development (LEED) in collaboration with Hopkins Student Organization for Programming (HOP).

The Spring Fair commenced with the Culture Show on Thursday, which showcased 12 different student groups. Following the show, students gathered in front of the Beach to watch the fireworks, while others watched from the comfort of their homes.

In an interview with The News-Letter, senior Anthony Garcia described his experience watching the fireworks with his friends on the rooftop of his apartment.

“All of us went up there to see it and it was a perfect view all the way down to the harbor. You can see the fireworks perfectly from there,” he said. “It was good fun and chill vibes for the start of Spring Fair.”

The Friday weather temporarily disrupted the Spring Fair vibes, as the thunderstorm forced the University to cancel Carnival Day at Keyser Quad and postpone the opening of the Arts Marketplace. Sunday’s weather was similar, canceling planned events such as Farm Day and the petting zoo. Homewood United for Music was the only exception to the series of cancelations as their Spring Fair Concert was successfully moved indoors into Bloomberg.

In an email to The News-Letter, Calvin Smith, Senior Director of LEED, explained the planning process for the Spring Fair.

“The LEED office works for about six months contacting vendors for the Food Court and the Arts Marketplace attending festivals, and contacting previous vendors to ensure we have a broad variety for students and community members to choose from,” he wrote.

As a result, Spring fair saw a wide variety of food trucks and featured a selection of local vendors selling funnel cake, lemonade, turkey legs, Thai food, Ekiben and more. 

Junior Ujvala Pradeep, a student who lined up at the food trucks in the rain on Friday, expressed her excitement at having the opportunity to eat from Ekiben in an interview with The News-Letter.

“I haven’t been out in the past three days because the weather has been mid, but today’s weather was even worse than yesterday, so that’s on me. But I was excited when I heard there’s an Ekiben food truck on campus because they are really far and they don’t have Doordash,” she said. “I am very pumped to eat my Tofu Brah Bowl!”

However, the food vendors closed down on Saturday night, one day before the originally planned date. Smith explained this decision. 

“We worked with the vendors to determine whether or not they wanted to continue in the rain. Friday, we had our vendors open most of the day,” he wrote. “Based on our conversations with the vendors and Student Affairs leadership, we decided to cancel the day on Sunday.”

Saturday was the only day of the weekend that offered good weather. Students took advantage of the sun and enjoyed live music performances on the Beach organized by WJHU radio. 

In an interview with The News-Letter, senior Alexis Choi shared her positive experience with the Spring Fair.

“It’s really fun. I just got food and bubble tea at the food vendors and then we went to the Arts Market,” she said. “I like that there are people vibing on the Beach together. [It’s] good vibes, and the bubbles are a nice touch.”

Junior Stephen Ha echoed similar feelings but also noted the inconvenience of certain campus facilities being occupied. 

“The food is really great, and the live music is really awesome. Even if you are in [Brody Learning Commons], you can still hear it, which is nice,” he said in an interview with The News-Letter. “I just wish the basketball courts were still open. ”

Due to the weather, this year’s Spring Fair faced various challenges. Nevertheless, students embraced the opportunity to take a break from work.

Overall, Smith expressed a desire to further grow the Spring Fair in the future, citing it as an important Hopkins tradition.

“We hope to give students and community members a fantastic tradition they can look forward to every year, to bring student and community member talents for our campus to engage with and to provide a space for our students, who work so hard, to relax at the end of the semester,” he wrote.


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