PrimaFaira to replace past spring semester events

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Photo by Anthony Garnier.

This year, Saturday, April 28 will not be an average Saturday at the University of Dallas campus. PrimaFaira will arrive on campus as a pre-finals celebration of the UD community.

A joint effort coordinated by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Residence Hall Association (RHA), PrimaFaira replaces two UD traditions: Laissez-Faire and Mallapalooza. Instead of hosting two distinct events, CAB and RHA combined elements from each tradition in a blend of food, music and activities.

“PrimaFaira is an event that will encapsulate the best of both Mallapalooza and Laissez-Faire,” said RHA intern Jarad White, who helped develop the event.

According to CAB Musical Entertainment and Sound Intern Michael Fazi, the title is a play on “primavera,” the Italian word for spring.

To entice students to participate, free dinner will be provided on the Mall by Aramark from 5-7 p.m. Although the food is provided by Aramark, all students can participate, not only those on a meal plan.

According to CAB’s Facebook page, Haggar Cafe will be closed during this time. The food encompasses a variety of options, including tacos and customizable sliders, in addition to gluten-free and vegetarian alternatives.

Throughout the evening, other food trucks will be present with food and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Vendors will also sell alcohol; those of age can choose between two beers and one cider.

For its organizers, an element of playfulness will be an integral part of PrimaFaira. In an email, Fazi detailed numerous games and activities, including henna paint, dunk tanks and a photo booth.

Beyond typical fair entertainment, more unusual pursuits will be open to the adventurous. For example, students can attempt to climb a rock wall, ride a mechanical bull or participate in a 75-foot long inflatable obstacle course.

In order to incorporate facets of Mallapalooza into Primafaira, “a professional stage” will be constructed on the Mall, said Fazi.

Two bands will each play a two-hour set. The first student band, Flavortown, will perform from 8-10 p.m. Flavortown played at Throwdown for Your Hometown TGIT on March 1. The Wonderfuls, who perform from 10 p.m-12 a.m., performed at this year’s Groundhog festivities.

“With both bands being well-received, we are excited to bring them both back to play again,”  Fazi said.

The development of PrimaFaira began fall semester, but formal preparation began in February.

According to both White and Fazi, for the past two months a team of six interns from CAB and RHA have been meeting once a week to discuss individual progress on their particular tasks and make budget decisions.

White said that each intern held a unique role in the process. Positions included logistics, volunteer coordination, marketing and communications, catering, entertainment and professional staff coordinator. White held the logistical position, while Fazi was in charge of marketing and communications. Abigail Knapp, John Bartee, Kaitlin Casanova and Maria Labus coordinated the other aspects of the event.

While he described the process as “lengthy,” White expressed gratitude at having been involved.

“I have enjoyed working with the team … [and am] glad to be a part of this collaboration between RHA and CAB on such a big project,” White said.

Fazi said that the primary goal of PrimaFaira is to increase student bonding and to provide an opportunity for fun and relaxation before finals week, which begins on Saturday, May 5.

“This event was designed to provide the student body with a variety of options so that there is something for everyone,” Fazi said.

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