Students break out bright clothes and glitter for this year's Mayfest

Mayfest 2013 offered something for everyone with concerts and free food in Walnut Park, parties on Euclid and an evening Block Party featuring Trey Songz and Ke$ha.

Sunshine was rare at past Mayfest celebrations, but this year Mother Nature pulled through. The mild weather and sun on Friday brought out Syracuse University students and their bright clothing to celebrate. Taking a break from looming finals, students ate, drank and danced the day away.

Photo: Melanie Deziel
Earl Sweatshirt performs Friday for an enthusiastic crowd at Mayfest 2013 in Walnut Park.

The Chainsmokers kicked off Mayfest festivities in Walnut Park with their techno beats. Students jumped and danced in between breaks to scarf down corndogs offered for free by SU. Most students came to Walnut for the free food, music and, for those over 21, beer. Friends met to catch up and take photographs before mulling around the grassy block or going back to their dorms to take a break. Festivities in Walnut Park ran from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Madness. Absolute madness,” said junior education major Samantha Chung of this year’s Mayfest. She noted that previous years had been more subdued because students could only stay outside for short periods of time before getting too cold and going back to their rooms to warm up. This year the warmer weather enabled students to stay in Walnut Park and the Castle Court area, as well as stroll down Euclid Ave.

At recent Mayfests, the partying on Euclid has been more subdued due to recent university regulation, but this year saw at least a little more participation. More students headed over to the Castle Court area because it is so close to Walnut and rents to SU students almost exclusively. But because most Euclid houses have a front and backyard, students were able to organize games, beer pong tournaments and barbeques during Mayfest. Graduate students predominantly hung out in the Euclid area because they could not enter Mayfest for free, unlike SU undergrads. Graduate students hoping to attend Mayest had to pay $21.50 for a ticket.

“As much as I liked when Mayfest was about partying on Euclid, SA [Student Association] and UU [University Union] do a good job at providing an awesome time in Walnut Park,” said senior film major Kyle Kuchta. 

Mayfest originally started as a day for capstone presentations. After, students would go to Euclid for house parties. This became too much of a liability for the university and the Department of Public Safety had a difficult time regulating who was an SU student and who belonged in each house. They then decided to make Walnut Park the hub of Mayfest activities and provided food and music. The lure of free beer in Walnut was also a big draw for upperclassman, who were typically responsible for throwing Mayfest parties on Euclid. Now DPS can more effectively do their job and monitor the safety of all students and their guests.

At 6 p.m. Walnut shut down and students wandered back to their rooms to prepare for Block Party. The lull lasted until about 7 p.m. when crowds formed around the entrance to the Carrier Dome. Depending on the artist each year, there has been a different student response. With Ke$ha and Trey Songz as this year's Block Party performers, students adopted colorful and energetic attitudes to get pumped for the concert. Brightly colored jeans, glitter, neon sunglasses and crop tops seemed to be the uniform for students, particularly those who made it to Block Party. 

“In my opinion, this year’s Mayfest and Block Party were the best I’ve ever experienced. UU did such a great job booking artists of all genres and landing a huge name as the Block Party headliner,” said junior journalism major Molly Nelson. Nelson said there was everything from hip hop to electronic dance music to rap throughout the day, which was important to appeal to SU's varied student body. 

As students emerge from Friday's glittery haze, relive the day's events with a collection of social media posts, below.

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