Red Cup Day

April 12, 2014

Yadda yadda.. Picnic Day.  Not one of my favorites, but I don’t hate it or anything. Happy to walk around town on such a perfect, sunny, mild day, and especially happy to see a lot of people we know in every corner of town and campus.

(To wit, I ran into Dave Merrill, someone I was very good friends with for a few years when I first moved to Davis. I have not seen him since he left town about 30 years ago, but he and his wife Winky have moved back to California (from Boston) and are now running a vineyard in Healdsburg. They were here for the day and we just happened to run into them at the Farmer’s Market.  (Coincidentally, the Merrill family was one of the founding farm families for the Market way back when..).  It was amazing to see them in person–I’ve been connected to Winky on Facebook so have tracked them a little but have had minimal communication. They had literally just gotten out of their car and walked into the park when we saw them. We were walking out of the park on our way home with arm loads of stuff we’d bought for dinner.. completely unplanned.. perfect timing.  Dave was such a great friend all those years ago.   Still shaking my head over that one.)

Back to the beginning of the day…

I’m not a parade person, but we typically watch the parade first thing for the tradition of it.

Here’s the reasonably entertaining, musically talented, if largely uncoordinated, UCD Band-duh in awkward step.



Glad to see they allowed a protest entry, students against UCD police brutality and the corporatization of the university:



And here’s a shot of Peter Wagner, the guy who builds non-traditional bikes–called whymcycles–definitely an institution in this town:


I’ve actually been in the Picnic Day parade three times.. once when the Davis Community Cable Cooperative was the latest and greatest new thing in town (1984), and we took video cameras and rode on top of a City of Davis fire engine, which was pretty fun. Another year, Peter’s T-ball team and parents got to ride on a UCD elephant bus with the River Cats’ mascot Dinger (and his wife), also fun. And a few years ago, Peter and I (it could have been  just Peter), rode one of the whymcycles.

So much for not being a parade person.

I was also invited to participate in the cow milking contest one year, being a quasi well-known community type, which was actually quite a fascinating experience. All the participants went to the dairy barn for serious training a few days before the event, which I really appreciated. I didn’t do too well on the day of the contest but enjoyed the whole thing.

As for Picnic Day activities…

The animal events, while wonderful, are just too crowded and I can never find a place to stand where I can see, so I’ve given up on those. I’m super tired of the Dachshund Races, I’m not a fan of the Battle of the Bands, and never had the patience to figure out how to get into the chemistry and physics shows. So forget all that.

But, if there’s a track meet–there used to always be one–I like to drop in on that. I ran in it the year I ran track for UCD, so, you know, I need to see some of it, preferably the races I ran in (200, 400, the sprint relays).. but it didn’t happen this year.. not sure why.

For the last 3 or 4 years, Jim and I have gone to the UCD baseball game.  This year they played Long Beach State.



It was an absolutely perfect day to sit for a couple hours and watch baseball. We saw a number of Peter’s teammates there (and after a while noticed Peter was among them). Sat behind some crusty old scouts who were fun to watch.

I wanted to stand up and say, Hey, anyone here wanna know whose grandpa founded LB State? But I didn’t. Long Beach won 2-0. I was not displeased.

BBQ’d dinner here with P&J and that was that. I can still hear students roaming drunkenly down our street, though it’s been relatively sane this year. We’ll see what the red cup count is in the morning.



2 Responses to “Red Cup Day”

  1. I’m not a fan of Picnic Day either. Just trying to get around anywhere in Davis was scary at best. I think the track meet DID happen over at the high school? That could have been something else…. Baseball would have been fun. Next year I’ll do that 😉

  2. Elliot Margolies Says:

    Hope you get to be in it a 4th time. Looks great.

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