Large variety makes Booth a success

Anna Walsh Apr 18, 2011

Every year during the week leading up to Carnival, hordes of students spend their days and nights in the Morewood Gardens parking lot, otherwise known as Midway, feverishly assembling booths for their organizations. This year, the theme for Carnival was “When I Was Your Age,” and the organizations stepped up to the challenge, creating booths that had attendees reminiscing about their childhood.

Rain throughout the beginning of the week and stricter safety standards slowed down Booth construction. Everyone on Midway was required to wear a hard hat, and several organizations were forced to rebuild their booths to meet the safety requirements, which kept some organizations from completing their booths on time. Despite the setbacks, the results were still impressive.

Sigma Phi Epsilon won first place in the Fraternities category with its booth, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” When visitors first walked into the booth, they immediately got the impression that they were underground in the sewers, with a spigot pouring out green water. SigEp’s game was a Wii skateboarding game that brothers had coded with ninja turtles as the characters in the game.
Delta Tau Delta won second place in the Fraternities category for its booth, “Harry Potter and the Deltly Hallows.” The booth had Quidditch goal posts that spelled out DTD on the outside, and plenty of interesting facts about Harry Potter on the inside of the booth. Alpha Epsilon Pi won third place, even though its booth wasn’t finished by the time Midway opened. The booth’s theme was “When I Was Your Age, I Had To Walk Uphill Both Ways”; it was intended to be M.C. Escher-themed, but was sparsely decorated on the inside.

In the Sororities category, Kappa Alpha Theta won first place with “The KAT in the Hat.” Despite what its booth’s name implied, the sorority’s booth referenced plenty of other Dr. Seuss books, including The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Each room had a theme from one of the Seuss stories, and contained plenty of impressive art and bright colors.

Delta Gamma’s “POOH BEAR” booth, which won second place, contained touching details from the beloved story, including Winnie the Pooh’s honey pots, a papier-mâché Tigger, and paintings of Pooh and his friends playing together. Kappa Kappa Gamma’s booth, titled “Kappa Kosmic Galaxy,” won third place for depicting a child’s dream of being an astronaut. Its booth included a game where visitors had to correctly identify constellations that lit up.

The Taiwanese Student Association won first place in the Independent Organizations category for its Oregon Trail-themed booth. Each room had a slightly different theme; in the first, the wood was stained to resemble a Wild West saloon, while the second had an enormous papier-mâché horse with a sand floor. One highlight of this booth was a “wheel of misfortune,” which told the wheel’s spinners what misfortunes might befall them, the options ranging from dysentery to a broken wheel axle.

Second place went to the Asian Student Association for its “Toy Story” booth. That booth, which was only a one-story structure with high ceilings, had incredible detail, with paintings of characters from all three movies on the walls. The first room was Sunnyside Daycare from Toy Story 3, complete with Ken and Barbie’s dream house and a giant stuffed plush Lotso. The Singapore Student Association won third place, with the theme “Retro Lounge.” It focused on the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, with homages to Woodstock and Michael Jackson and a Berlin Wall that visitors could sign.

First place in the Blitz category went to Alpha Kappa Psi, for whom this was the first year participating in Booth. AKPsi’s booth was “Monopoly”-themed; its whole booth was a board game, where visitors had to roll oversized dice and answer trivia questions about Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon to win Monopoly money. Student Dormitory Council’s “SDC and the Purple Crayon” booth won second place and contained an enormous white board that visitors could write on. BioSAC’s booth, which was themed “Brontosaurus Was a Dinosaur,” focused on dinosaurs and included a “spin the wheel” game.

Not every organization put a full week’s worth of effort into Booth: Kappa Sigma’s “Build-A-Booth” consisted of nothing more than painted cardboard boxes on a platform that people could then rearrange to build structures. Despite its simplicity, children and students alike highly enjoyed the booth, building different structures out of the boxes.

Another well-received addition to Booth was Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s “Bluth’s Banana Stand,” an homage to the television show Arrested Development. The booth, which sold frozen bananas, was a near-perfect replica of the banana stand on the television show, and was incredibly popular — SAE sold out of frozen bananas long before Carnival ended.

This year’s Booth had a wide range of themes and activities that, despite early setbacks, made it a success.