A blast to the past

    Ask any old-timer around campus about UCSD’s famous Sun God festival, and they get a little misty-eyed. The typical response you’ll get is something to the effect of: For one tremendous day, UCSD gets to act like a real college. Some may find it hard to envision this phenomenon, but UCSD students are like elephants who can’t forget the good times.

    Every Sun God aficionado has Sun God memories. Or they have no memories, depending on how much they drank. The memory of headlining band “”Dishwalla”” in 2000 makes some people cringe. Painful recollections aside, what is it that excites us each year as the Sun God festival rolls around?

    “”It’s the one time that we get to let our hair down and close the books to just relax and get freaky,”” said Andrew Shim, an Earl Warren College junior. “”It doesn’t matter what race, ethnicity or religion you are. Sun God is just everyone coming together to enjoy the fun and the exciting atmosphere.””

    The festive atmosphere contributes to anxiety over who’s performing.

    “”The biggest deal about Sun God is the anticipation,”” concurred Brandon Freeman, the festivals coordinator for A.S. programming. “”It basically makes people’s year.””

    This anticipation rides on “”remember whens”” that encompass not only the bands, but the booths and the all-day entertainment as well. The booths on Library Walk are no longer informational, but recreational. Past favorites include the Samba de Amigo and Inflatable Boxing Ring, as well as carnival-style games, with which The Koala staff usually push the envelope. Some booths have even set records. Last year’s Union of Jewish Students set a head-shaving record of over 100 heads in four hours with proceeds going to a local charity.

    “”Of course, the best booths are the ones with food. Lots and lots of food,”” said James Yu, a Revelle senior who has never missed a Sun God festival. “”Plus the performances at Price Center are always good!””

    For many, the fun is not restricted to the vicinity of Library Walk. Don’t be surprised to see people frolicking in fountains with huge inflatable rubber ducks as they have in past years, or playing games of Frisbee and football anywhere and everywhere. And no one ever forgets the beer.

    “”It’s like an entirely different world,”” Freeman said of the campus’ transformation on the day of the festival.

    For most, though, the festival still rides on the nighttime events at RIMAC field.

    “”I think the best group was the Roots, like three years ago. I’m a hip-hop person and they had a dope D.J. Their act was pretty hype and people got into it,”” said Yu, referring to the 1998 Sun God show.

    With the Sun God festival, though, it’s each to their own, since others could chose from 1993’s “”Blues Traveler,”” “”No Doubt”” from 1994 or even “”311″” in 1995. Many enjoy dancing to the trance and house mixes of the DJ and Vinylphile Club between sets in a specially-equipped tent.

    Despite its low-key beginnings 20 years ago, the Sun God festival this year will undoubtedly continue to build upon the legacy that is Sun God. Whether it is a fraternity’s special root beer floats or urinating off a balcony, May 17 will be your turn to have your “”Cake”” and anything else you want, too.

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