UC Davis Picnic Day is Saturday. Here’s what you need to know

See what goes into planning the 2017 UC Davis Picnic Day parade

UC Davis holds Picnic Day every year, including the Picnic Day Parade.
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UC Davis holds Picnic Day every year, including the Picnic Day Parade.

UC Davis’ 105th annual Picnic Day will open with a parade Saturday morning, and is set to be a day filled with live performances and general revelry. Here’s how to navigate the always busy festival.

But first: What is Picnic Day?

Picnic Day is UC Davis’ yearly open house, where the university is on showcase for both prospective and current students as well as for the general regional community. The event has attracted up to 80,000 people in recent years, according to previous reporting from The Bee. It features over 200 events emphasizing “exploration, opportunity, and discovery,” according to the Picnic Day website.

This year’s theme is “Adventure Awaits,” and it “represents the adventure that every past, current, and future UC Davis student experiences” in their college years, the website said. Events include a chemistry magic show, a children’s discovery fair and the ever-popular “Doxie Derby Race” to crown the speediest wiener dog.

Picnic Day is largely a wholesome and family-friendly gathering, but some college students and revelers in the past have turned the event into an all-day, alcohol-infused party. In 2017, a fight broke out in the streets between a group of party-goers and police after plainclothes officers exited an unmarked minivan into the crowd.

Two of the officers were taken to the emergency room for treatment, The Bee reported at the time, and five people were booked into Yolo County jail. None were UC Davis students. All eventually pleaded no contest to felony resisting and misdemeanor assault on a police officer in exchange for one year’s probation and enrollment in a restorative justice program.

The contentious hearings relating to the incident led to internal investigations by the Davis Police Department and an audit to review the investigation. Picnic Day 2018 was much calmer, though, with no major altercations reported by police.

When is Picnic Day?

Picnic Day starts with an opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on North Quad Avenue across from Wickson Hall, and the parade starts at 10 a.m.

Most events end by 5 p.m., with some independent events the same day, such as a Battle of the Bands, ending later that night.

The full schedule and other details are at picnicday.ucdavis.edu.

Where do I park?

Parking is free on campus during Picnic Day, with all lots open to the public unless they’re marked reserved for picnic day staff. Parking attendants will assist with parking.

Yolobus also provides bus service, with bus lines 42 and 220 stop at the university’s Memorial Union on Saturdays.

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