Spring Carnival makes its way to Silicon Valley


April 13, 2015

It’s hard not to think of Carnival when you think of spring at Carnegie Mellon. With three days of amusement park rides, adventures in booths, unhealthy snacks, buggy races, and no classes, Spring Carnival is often the highlight of the semester. This year’s Spring Carnival, with the theme “Living Library,” will be held April 16-18 at the Pittsburgh campus. 

While Spring Carnival was been a tradition for 101 years in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon's campus in Silicon Valley will celebrate its fifth annual Carnival West on April 18.

Chris Zeise, director of Alumni Relations for the Silicon Valley campus, went to CMU-SV from the main campus and was instrumental in bringing Carnival to California. "The Bay Area is home to more than 8,000 Carnegie Mellon alumni, one of the largest concentrations outside of Pittsburgh, and Carnival West is a great way for them to connect with their alma mater and each other," she says.

Although the campuses are thousands of miles apart, there are a few parallels between the two Carnival celebrations. Buggy is the centerpiece of Carnival in Pittsburgh, and the SV campus will be able to broadcast that morning’s finals. Zeise adds, “we've tweaked this long-standing tradition to accommodate our limited (and flat) space here at NASA Ames.” The Carnival West Buggy Races use Legos and a professionally built wooden ramp, which has been such a hit in the Bay Area that the Spring Carnival Committee has asked about building a Lego track in Pittsburgh this year as well.

Other Silicon Valley Carnival West activities include outdoor games, a photo booth, Scottish country dancing led by the South Bay Scottish Society and the popular egg-drop engineering contest. The Silicon Valley fence, donated by the SV Class of 2008, will be primed and ready for a new Carnival-themed paint job (no camping out required).

For those attending Spring Carnival in Pittsburgh, here are the top events you should not miss: 

Midway opening ceremony 
Thursday, April 16
3:00 p.m.

Comedy show
HBO’s Silicon Valley co-stars Kumail Nanjiani and Thomas Middleditch
Thursday, April 16
7:30 p.m. 

Mobot races
Friday, April 17
12:00 p.m.

Buggy final races
Saturday, April 18
9:00 a.m.

ECE/SCS alumni networking reception
Saturday, April 18
1:00 p.m.
register here 

Matt and Kim with RJD2
Saturday, April 18
7:30 p.m.

The full schedule can be seen here.