Requiem for Celebrate!

Peter Gillette

I’m sure I’m not the only fan of overpriced funnel cakes, somewhat desperate carnies, facepaints, motley crews of Motley Cre tribute bands, and handmade lanyards who was disappointed by this week’s bombshell announcing Celebrate!’s cancellation.Am I the only one who feels slightly begrudged by the timing of this cancellation? Here we were, frantically trying to keep ourselves warm. Even the Main Hall smokers, it seemed, chewed Nicorette for a week or two there. And away goes our one symbol of spring. It’s kind of cruel.

Had I heard the announcement the first week in October, while I was rolling in a leaf pile or something, I probably couldn’t care less. “It always rains any way,” I would probably have said, “and it’s the student organizations that take the bath.”

Heck, I could have probably dealt with the announcement the day of. Show up to Celebrate!, and meet a sign reading “Sike!” Would I have been terribly upset? Maybe for the ten seconds before someone tossed a Frisbee towards me.

But now it’s January, and, being the fickle creature I am, I wish I could stand outside and look at townies with a smug, superior glance that forgets that they have jobs and I only have student loans. I wish I could sit in the doorway of the Conservatory and avoid eye contact with a burly fellow of forty who’d rather not wait for a port-to-let. I’d rather man a booth for two hours and then scramble to rescue the merchandise from the inevitable monsoon than try to steal some gloves from the lost and found at Downer.

And then there are the complaints. Oh, how I’ll miss all the complaints! The rolled eyes, the mumbled curses, the superior, knowing looks we all give to each other wondering how exactly an Ivory tower can hold a block party-without alcohol, no less. We won’t be able to complain about the bands anymore, about the lines at the grill, about the inevitable annual battle between higher learning and upper-B-list rock bands that turns the antechamber of the Mudd into Armageddon.

Celebrate! slays other traditions too. Professor Goldgar will likely have to change his syllabus for Satire, a course that includes an informal assignment to check out townies in full force, for the first time since the publication of Catch 22.

But hey, there’s still plenty to look forward to in the spring. Take senior streak, for instance…

Well, at least there’s Zoo Day.