This year marks 100 years of Picnic Days at UC Davis: That’s a lot of udder pulling, parade floats floated, experiments showcased and off-campus beer and burgers consumed.
Through the years, it has been a day to show off the outstanding research being done at the University of California, Davis. And a day to have fun.
Woodland Vice Mayor Tom Stallard, a Davis grad and former grand marshal, notes that it is the day each year that the lab doors swing open, exhibits are in place, and research is explained.
It’s also a time for small-town joys such as the annual parade, chocolate and olive oil tasting, musical performance and fine art.
“And dogs, yes, dogs,” said Stallard. “There are exhibitions of many breeds, skills such as sheepherding, and races featuring dachshunds.”
Stallard said one must come to several Picnic Days to get a broad sample of all that is offered. Purported to be the largest student-run event in the United States, Picnic Day is free and open to the public.
More than 50,000 people accept the invitation, flooding the college town and the leafy campus renowned for agricultural research. The first Picnic Day was a quiet affair and university officials hope that this year will be fun but free of drunken revelry that has marred some editions of the event.
Here’s a look at Picnic Day through the years, courtesy UC Davis, UC Davis Magazine and Associated Students of UC Davis: