Mayfest brings an energetic end to the semester in Walnut Park

Mayfest brings energy to end of semester

Fresh-made fries, silent disco and Whethan were highlights but the new carousel was a hit.
Published: April 28, 2019 | Updated: April 30th, 2019 at 8:52 am

On Friday afternoon, Syracuse University’s annual Mayfest celebration kicked off with some light wind and thick overcast skies. But despite the ominous weather, the Walnut Park festival drew crowds of students who seemed to will the rain away with vibrant energy and colorful displays of fashion.

Though the crowd was small at first, attendees flooded into the park later in the afternoon as they hopped from tent to tent in mud-stained shoes and enjoyed live performances from Whethan, Saba and Adult Mom.

This year’s food selection was a hit among students. They waited in long lines to devour free food from various vendors – some even filled their Mayfest 2019 bags with extra food.

“This is the highlight of my Mayfest right here,” said junior Naiya Campbell, pointing to the hamburger in her hand.

“Yes,” added her friend, and junior Finance major, Azarius Williams. “This Mayfest definitely has the best food.”

For most people, the party was more about celebrating the end of the school year with friends. Every so often, you could hear the high pitched screams of friends finding each other in the crowd.

“Mayfest is fun and all, but I just love seeing everyone and having a good time with my friends,” said SU junior Courtney Owens.

This year’s Mayfest also featured eye-catching fashion choices, from bright colors to bold personal statements. Stephanie Craven, a musical theater major, and her roommates decided to paint their cheeks with colorful glitter.

“We don’t do this all the time,” she said, “only for special occasions.”

Libby Welch and Gia Marcoglies make their way to Mayfest 2019 at Walnut Park.

Roommates Stephanie Craven, Carly Caviglia and Kate Jarecki sport matching gliter at Mayfest.

At the height of the yearly party, every attraction was packed with crowds of friends, eager to toss around in the bounce house, dance at the silent disco or get their face painted. But the carousel, a new addition to the festival, was the fan favorite.

“I’ve gone on it twice already,” said VPA senior, Shelby Warren, “and I’ll probably go two more times.”

Joey Sofo co-owns Playland Amusements with his wife and said getting the carousel approved wasn’t easy.

“We tried for two years before we finally got approved,” he said. “If I could choose, I would love to bring out this four-story slide,” Solo said, “But it’s safety first and we are doing everything we can to make it safe.”

Part of the safety process included an inspection that lasted over three hours, according to Solo.

This year’s emphasis on safety was clear throughout the grounds, which was evident in the swaths of security now clad in bright yellow jackets.

The Mayfest celebration culminated with students gathering near the stage to watch Adult Mom and Saba followed by Whethan. The party ended as students slowly trickled off, making their way to Block Party.

Avatar for Cleo Adebiyi

is a staff producer with The NewsHouse. Born and raised in the Bronx, she is passionate about telling stories that reflect real life.