A colossal fair constructed of metal, plywood and Yale banners lies this moment in dormant anticipation.
This fair will burst to life Friday as the last part of Yale’s tercentennial celebration. The Yale Bowl plays host to the “Yale 300 Festival” at 4:30 p.m. and the “Tercentennial Show” at 7 p.m. After a day of lectures and speeches, the activities at the Yale Bowl promise to be a vibrant and exhilarating launch to the weekend.
The Yale 300 Festival is a blend of carnival and University, hosting over 60 musical groups, exhibits and demonstrations.
“The festival is the flavor of everything that is Yale,” said Eric Moffitt, the director of communications for the Tercentennial. Moffitt also said that the Tercentennial Office has received close to 2,000 ticket requests from Connecticut alumni alone and is preparing for a crowd of up to 35,000 people.
To accommodate so many people, the grounds of the Bowl are divided into a number of “cities,” named Eli Village, Ivy Town, Elm City and Tercentennial Tots Village. The “municipalities” host a variety of activities, including two stages featuring live music and performances.
Stage acts include undergraduate groups such as Magevet and A Different Drum, as well as the jazzy Bales-Gitlin Band, which will be performing its rendition of the “Bulldog Swing.” Besides the stage performances, a multitude of “Roving Performances” by various groups will also take place throughout the festival.
The exhibits range widely in purpose and mood.
In one, dubbed “Off to the Bowl,” visitors can take a ride — albeit an immobile one — in an actual trolley used to bring students and fans to and from the Yale Bowl in earlier days.
Another booth will be the “OCTI Challenge” in Ivy Town. Fans of this game of strategy can take their chance at besting its inventor, Yale professor Donald Green, for a prize of $1,000.
And for those who might prefer spending money to winning it, a “Taste of Yale” provides everything from hot dogs to box lunches. Numerous food stands as well as picnic tables are sprinkled around the Bowl.
Many area museums have taken the opportunity to set up informational exhibits. The Eli Whitney Museum is sponsoring “Inventing Yale,” a booth demonstrating Yale alumni’s inventions.
Or, for the more art-inclined, the Yale Center for British Art will put up an exhibit called “Art, Architecture, and Education.”
One booth aimed at sports fans, both students and alumni, is “Yale Athletics, Then and Now.” Notable Yale athletic memorabilia, including a Heisman Trophy, will be on display here.
Another attraction will be the distinguished alumni athletes, like Jack Ford ’72, a former professional football player now working on 20/20 and Good Morning America, who will be on hand to sign autographs.
Contributing to the carnival-like atmosphere are the activities going on in Tercentennial Tots Village. Proud Yalies can have their faces painted in white and blue at “Put on a Happy Face” or have their caricature drawn at “Were Thine That Special Face.”
At “Bulldog, Bulldog” interested passers-by can meet Yale’s famous mascot, Handsome Dan.
After the hustle and bustle of the festival, people will be able to sit down and enjoy the culmination of the day’s efforts: the Tercentennial Show at 7 p.m.
Though some parking is available at the Bowl, free shuttles will run between campus and the stadium from 3:30 to 6:45 p.m. and after the events end at 9 p.m.