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Behind the scenes: The making of Vintage Days

For the past several days, one couldn’t help but dodge incoming trucks on campus and notice the portable toilets, food vendor trucks and the 70-foot-high concert stage in preparation for Vintage Days.

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A view of the Fresno State Campus from the Peters Business Building while set up for Vintage Days takes place. Matt Vieira / The Collegian

Erica Herrejon, student director for Vintage Days, could attest to the hard work, long hours and organization it takes to put Vintage Days together.

In terms of conflict, arguments rarely break out among Vintage Days committee members, she said.

“I mean, you will always get a couple of people with different ideas and opinions. Everyone has a say,” Herrejon said. “The committee votes on a decision, then we drop [the issue]. There have been no arguments. We have an open-minded and supportive group.”

Setting up for next year’s Vintage Days begins the week after this year’s event ends. The new committee has to get situated and start making plans.

“The brochures or the Vintage Day Press takes the longest to complete,” Herrejon said . “We have to get sponsors, schedule events and decide where everything is going to be located. We have to wait on certain people for graphics and the final schedule of events. We just completed the Vintage Days Press [Wednesday].”

Herrejon said next semester’s coordinators shadow this year’s coordinators so they know what to expect.

“Volunteers for setup come from a variety of channels,” Herrejon said. “We use social media, we table and reach out to clubs and organizations on campus like the Richter Center and Jump Start.

“Last year we had 150 to 200 volunteers, and that is expected to be the same or surpassed this year,” she said.

Josh Edrington, Vintage Days adviser, said that setup is busy because everybody comes in and loads up on the same day at the same time.

He said the Vintage Days committee is able to keep the hectic environment under control. The committee always prepares for the unexpected.

Edrington said the busiest and most hectic day is Thursday, the day before Vintage Days begins, because the vendors and booths are all being set up.

“We have to reach out to performers as soon as possible, and we get the yes or no the week of. It took a while for President Joseph Castro to schedule the pancake breakfast.”

“Things always come up, but that’s event planning,” Herrejon said.

Everything comes down to the last minute, she said. Setting up can’t be done too early or too late. It has to be done in the right window of time.

Herrejon said that the Vintage Days Committee planned to have fireworks scheduled for Friday. The fireworks guy came by and approved it, but the cabinet didn’t approve it because the horses on campus would be scared.

“It takes hard work, enthusiasm and positive attitudes,” Herrejon said.  “You want people who are going to be excited and open to new ideas.  It’s such a team effort full of different personalities and work ethics.”

“We must predict what’s unpredictable, and we must have a backup plan,” Herrejon said.

Herrejon said if it rains, people will be moved into the Satellite Student Union for the screening of Disney’s “Frozen.”

“Come out for Vintage Days weekend and support the students,” Edrington said. “There will be a lot going on for people of all ages. It’s free admission and free parking. It’s the 40th anniversary. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to show up.”