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Spring Carnival booths need more variety every year

Spring Carnival booths need more variety every year (credit: Josh Smith/Forum Editor) Spring Carnival booths need more variety every year (credit: Josh Smith/Forum Editor)

Booth is one of the most noticeable and celebrated events of Spring Carnival. It is the only festivity that is truly affected by the overarching theme of Carnival every year; no other activity, such as Sweepstakes or the annual Scotch’n’Soda show, depends on an interpretation of the Spring Carnival theme.

This year, the theme was “As Seen On TV.” Immediately, this idea brought to mind the notorious store with the same name (found in your local strip mall, of course).

The announcement of the theme is always exciting; students can’t help but wonder what diverse and creative booths will come out of each organization. This sets up a certain expectation for Booth, and potential disappointment. Student organizations participating in Booth should be aware of similar themes over the years and should strive to challenge themselves to build unique booths.

Student organizations this year seemed to literally interpret the theme and centered their booth themes on television shows.

This in itself is completely fine, but the booths were strikingly similar to last year’s booths. Spring Carnival 2011’s theme was “When I Was Your Age” and the booths featured blasts from childhood pasts. This year’s booths did not exactly differentiate themselves from last year’s counterparts: Themes such as Looney Tunes, Blue’s Clues, and Spongebob Squarepants were all present this year. While these shows obviously fell under “As Seen On TV,” they are also fitting for “When I Was Your Age.”

While cartoon shows and other television programs comprise of a significant part of our youth, a greater distinction needs to be made between booths from one year to the next. Part of the problem lies with theme variety.

Spring Carnival themes have the tendency of being recycled after so many years, with novels, TV shows, history, childhood, and locations around the world being topics that consistently appear.

However, to come up with a completely new and original Carnival theme every year would be impossible.

Thus, it also falls upon the student organizations participating in Booth to create variety from year to year. Students involved in Booth should recognize whether similar booth ideas have happened within their time at Carnegie Mellon, and should thus strive to create a unique experience for annual visitors of Midway during Spring Carnival.

This similarity between booth themes from last year’s Carnival and the current one is disappointing. The Spring Carnival theme should inspire organizations to tackle something they’ve never tackled before, push their creativity, and produce something wholly original.

The point of changing the overarching theme each year is so organizations can’t just simply recycle their old ideas; it is to prompt ingenuity and imagination.