The University of Arizona

Spring Fling: Food, Music and Carnival Fun

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, April 10, 2012

Get ready for Spring Fling, which runs April 12-15, and join the kickoff event in front of Old Main on April 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free food, games and giveaways.

Eight student leaders serve as directors and work throughout the year to coordinate and put on Spring Fling with more than 1,500 student volunteers and the help of UA affiliated staff. (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Eight student leaders serve as directors and work throughout the year to coordinate and put on Spring Fling with more than 1,500 student volunteers and the help of UA affiliated staff. (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Spring Fling will feature more than 25 rides and games. (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Spring Fling will feature more than 25 rides and games. (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Spring Fling will offer and more than 20 different food booths selling cotton candy, corn dogs, roasted corn and other goodies (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Spring Fling will offer and more than 20 different food booths selling cotton candy, corn dogs, roasted corn and other goodies (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Spring Fling, the student-run carnival, runs April 12-15 at Rillito Downs in Tucson.
Spring Fling, the student-run carnival, runs April 12-15 at Rillito Downs in Tucson.

Rides, game booths, live music and the smell of roasted corn and corn dogs will fill Rillito Downs once again as Spring Fling brings carnival fun to the Tucson community this week to raise funds and support service projects by University of Arizona student clubs. 

Spring Fling will take place April 12-15. General admission and parking are $5. UA students with a CatCard have free admission, as do children younger than 7 and those with a military ID. Admission is free to everyone from noon to 2 p.m. on April 14.

Spring Fling, a UA tradition since 1974, is the most important fundraiser for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and its student clubs.

The event generates between $30,000 and $40,000, which is distributed among the clubs who work to put on the event and volunteer in game or food booths. The clubs in turn redistribute the funds to the greater Tucson community through commitments to service projects such as Ben's Bells and the Ronald McDonald House.   

Spring Fling is the largest student-run carnival in the nation. Spring Fling features more than 25 rides and games and more than 20 different food booths ranging from cotton candy to corn dogs and roasted corn hosted by the more than 40 clubs that have booths at the event.

Eight student leaders serve as directors and work throughout the year to coordinate and put on the event, with more than 1,500 student volunteers and the help of UA affiliated staff. Once the event gets started, students work 14-plus hour days until the gates close.

"It is a very rewarding experience, and once we get going, none of us wants to stop," said Ashley Saindon, the Spring Fling media director and a senior general studies major at the UA.

As a freshman, Saindon received a Spring Fling flier and was impressed that the event is entirely run by students, and she became a volunteer. She is representative of the Spring Fling transition training that takes place each year as students mentor and train one another to take on more responsibility and future leadership roles. 

This year, Spring Fling will feature entertainment with live performances on the Spring Fling stage. These performances include the Pueblo High School Mariachi; the band 80's and Gentlemen, playing musical favorites from the 1980s; and an a cappella performance from the UA CatCall singers, who sing contemporary and time-honored classics.

Keep up with events on Facebook and Twitter to find promotions such as unlimited rides April 12-13 with the purchase of a wristband for $25 and the donation of four canned food items to benefit the UA4Food drive. April 15 is Family Fun Day, with last-chance wristbands for only $15 and free admission with a donation of two children's books, a UA alumni membership ID or the donation of a recyclable Coke Cola product.

A Spring Fling kickoff event will take place on the UA Mall in front of Old Main on April 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take part in the fun with a ride on a giant slide, free food, games and giveaways.