Carnegie Mellon University
April 18, 2017

Spring Carnival Serves Up Entertainment for Everyone

By Heidi Opdyke
Carnival 2017

The 103rd edition of Spring Carnival is serving up entertainment in a new way ... on the tennis courts.

This will be the first time tennis courts will house a stage for performances. DJ San Holo will perform on Saturday night and a variety of comedy and musical acts will perform Friday.

Joe Mertz, head of operations for the Spring Carnival Committee, said using a stage there would allow more people to hear and see performances as they wait in line for concessions or to visit booths.

“We’re banking on the weather and hoping that it will be a good move,” said Mertz, who noted the tennis court stage would connect carnival activities.

“You have the long lane of booths, and then at the end of the booths are the rides and games spread out in front of Baker/Porter Hall and the Hunt Library,” he said. “And at both ends are the start and finish lines for Buggy. It really unifies everything on that side of campus."

The 2017 theme is Timehop. Spring Carnival Chair Amalia Martinez said this year would feature three themed entryways to enter the entertainment zone between the Cohon University Center, and Tech and Frew streets, where Sweepstakes, also known as Buggy, takes place.

“As you’re walking through you’ll see different types of architecture, from trees and primitive structures to medieval styles and a futuristic entryway,” she said.

Martinez said it has been wonderful working with the many people it takes to pull the event together. More than 1,000 builders are involved in creating booths, and the Spring Carnival Committee has 50 members.

“I think what always excites me is the tradition. It’s such a uniquely Carnegie Mellon thing,” Martinez said. “It makes me have a lot of pride for my school.”

As a senior in the Tepper School of Business, Martinez said her role helped her prepare for a career after college.

“It helps a lot with project management and how to have a big picture view on everything and see everything that’s going on, and keep track of the different aspects of what goes into carnival,” she said.

For Pittsburgh native Mertz, Spring Carnival has been part of his entire life.

“I like everything about it. I like students coming together and doing these massive things. My favorite part is conveying to outside vendors what carnival is,” he said.

A senior in the School of Drama, Mertz said the work he has done for carnival involves a lot of planning.

“Live event production is what the carnival committee is,” he said. “And it’s similar to the type of work I plan to do after graduation.”

See the full schedule on the Alumni Association website.

This story has been updated with a Spring Carnival flickr gallery.