Ormsby Zoo Day makes zany return next weekend

Peter Gillette

Zoo Day will make its regressive return Saturday, May 18th. The annual Ormsby event is being held this year in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity’s Shack-a-thon fundraiser, with proceeds from both events going to Habitat.

Live bands will play until 11:30 PM, and at dinnertime the all-campus picnic is being held. Between Shack-a-thon, Zoo Day, the picnic, and Skappleton—also Saturday—Lawrence should hold quite a collection of characters.

Saturday’s events will include a faculty dunk tank and pie throw, for those students seeking retribution for midterm grades. Participants can plan on flashing back with face paint and tattoos, along with the old standby, jell-o wrestling.

“The main difference this year is that we have three large-scale inflatables, rather than the one smaller one we had last year,” said Corin Blanchard, Ormsby Hall Director and Campus Activities Programs Coordinator. The large-scale inflatables include a giant Gladiator Joust, a “Bouncy Boxing” ring, and the Sports Challenge, a strange combination of bungee cords and basketball.

If the weather is nice, expect the Frisbees to fly freely.

“[Zoo Day] really gives students time to relax,” said Blanchard.

The entertainment includes DJ Dave Maloney who will spin tunes during the afternoon, and Ormsbyite Zach Johnson who will give a solo performance. The Lower Six Jazz Band will also play during the evening. The Lower Six Jazz Band is the New Orleans group led by Steve Rogness, who played at the Mardi Gras celebration in the coffeehouse.

Last year, Zoo Day’s philanthropy was Harbor House (the battered women’s shelter supported by the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority), and a raffle raised money. This year, a penny war is going to be held prior to the event, for the benefit of Habitat.

The pie throwing and dunk tanks are donation based, and go towards the philanthropy.

Zoo Day is one of LU’s oldest traditions, but died out during the 1980s. Ormsby revived it in 1999 on the occasion of the Residence Hall’s 110th birthday.