Picnic Day—the biggest show in town—returns, on Davisville

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Picnic Day returns on April 21. For the last two years, the event has meant two things. One is the traditional UC Davis open house, with attractions like the chemistry magic show, dachshund races, parade, music, and booths like the splash tank pictured here. The other is a surge in drunken and obnoxious public behavior, mostly in and near downtown. The campus and city have acted to curtail the trouble while preserving the better side of Picnic Day, and although last year still had problems—some downtown retailers reported “a lot of mayhem,” and the number of arrests and citations rose—conditions generally seemed better in 2011 than in 2010. The question now is what to expect for 2012. Two members of the student board that runs the event, Picnic Day chair Jennifer Mappus and publicity chair Achsa Rothe, came by Davisville to talk about the attractions and plans for 2012. The board intends to reduce the bad side while sustaining and improving the good, and Mappus and Rothe discuss how they’re pursuing that goal.

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