This year's Bellis Fest, held April 4, saw both a turnout of hundreds of University of Richmond students and much better weather than last weekend's Pig Roast.
Bellis Fest is the Westhampton College Government Association's annual spring festival. The name is derived from the scientific name of the daisy flower, which is the symbol of Westhampton College. Mimi Mudd, WCGA president, said the tradition of Bellis Fest dated back to when Westhampton College and Richmond College were still separate entities, and it was held as celebration of May Day.
The event was held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Forum, which has been the festival's location for the past two years after being moved from the Westhampton Green because of low turnout numbers, according to another article by The Collegian. The festival is usually held the weekend prior to Pig Roast, but this year it was moved to the weekend after in order to avoid over-programming, Mudd said.
Student favorites made reappearances this year, including henna tattooing and mechanical bull riding, though this year the bull was replaced by a blue-and-red spider. Richmond College students were also present at Bellis Fest, and the Interfraternity Council's free dunking booth was a huge hit with festival participants.
A Bellis Fest newcomer this year was the dog rescue program, Bandit's Adoption & Rescue of K-9's. BARK, a nonprofit, no-kill rescue, brought adoptable dogs to the event for students to pet and walk as a way to de-stress.
The overall satisfaction with the festival seemed to be high, though there were a few complaints from students about the timing of the event as well as the organizations involved.
Julia Picciotto, a senior, said she was unable to attend Bellis Fest this year because it was held after Pig Roast. Since it was held so close to the end of the semester, she said, she had to skip it in order to finish term papers.
A student involved in both Greek Life and organizing the event, who wished to remain anonymous because of her involvement with both, said she was happy to see so many sororities and fraternities come together at an event, but wished there was greater involvement from non-Greek organizations at Bellis Fest.
"I love Greek life and [the people I know in it] are like family," she said. "But there were almost no non-Greek organizations represented at the event this year, and I feel like that gives a very narrow view of this campus, which is so much more diverse than that."
Contact reporter Kelsey Shields at email@example.com