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Going ‘Back to the Future’ with Vintage Days

Since 1974, Vintage Days has taken event planning and creativity to the next level.

Throughout the years, it has become more student run while maintaining its ongoing mission to bring the community to Fresno State.

“I think every year, since there is a new group of students planning it, that they add their own little unique personality to it,” said Ramiro Merino, assistant student director of Vintage Days.

“Every year it’s different than the previous year.”

This year, 15 volunteer students on the Vintage Days committee are planning to incorporate new events and themes for the Fresno State community to enjoy by bringing back the dynamic rock’n’roll era of the ‘50s.

“Some of the events that we have going on are still kind of in the works,” said Cindy Kouyate, student director of Vintage Days. “A lot of it is going to be more student involved.”

Kouyate said there will be the “Vintage Challenge,” which encourages students to compete in teams and get involved in activities that have been set by the committee throughout the event April 21 to 23. The activities will offer the chance for the teams to win prizes.

“This year, there is going to be more trivia and more mental activities,” Kouyate said.

In addition to the team events, there will be other events tailored for the community, including a family movie night.

“That seems to always be a good way for families to come to campus and spend time on campus,” said Merino.

Shawna Blair, the program and events coordinator at Fresno State and staff adviser of Vintage Days, said this year’s movie night will be featuring “Back to the Future.”

Blair said the family-friendly kids zone will feature some new creatures.

“We will have reptiles out there this year,” Blair said. “That will be a new addition to what we normally have out there, which are the petting zoo and the pony rides.”

Kouyate said there are options for adults, too.

“We usually feature a beer and wine garden for people who are 21 and over,” Kouyate said. “They are more than welcome to enjoy that, as well.”

From booths to games to a concert series, Kouyate said that there is something for everyone.

“Vintage Days, as a whole, is more geared towards the community,” Kouyate said.

Although there are multiple options for the community to come out and enjoy themselves, college students will have even more. Blair said that they do plan to have some sort of special college night for students.

“That’s all geared toward our students,” said Blair. “Hopefully it’s going to be some sort of dance or party-type of event.”

She said that the performance stage this year features more student groups and local bands that will be performing throughout the three days.

“We have dance groups, and then bands, and then solo singers,” Blair said.

Students are the main attraction this year, as Vintage Days will be holding the President’s Showcase of Excellence in the Satellite Student Union.

“It highlights colleges and departments on campus and the work that they’ve done throughout the whole year,” Merino said. “It’s a really great opportunity to showcase what they’ve been working on.”

Along with free admission, there will be free parking, which allows the community to come and enjoy the event and put their money where they want to, they said.

“Again, by spending their money on campus, it goes back to supporting [the] campus and supporting Vintage Days being able to put itself on,” Blair said.

She said that purchases at club food or game booths help support students.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year,” Blair said.

Kouyate said there will be 35 to 40 game and food booths this year, as well as over 100 booths in the Crafts Faire. The Crafts Faire booths will all feature handmade items. There will also be a wide variety of food options.

“There is a staff behind all of this, but it’s the biggest event planned by students,” Blair said. “It really is a whole student committee who are helping to facilitate and plan it.”