Late Nite Carnival 2015 will feature 16 rides, a caricature artist, face painters, fireworks and more. Revelers can expect mild temperatures and negligible chances of rain, but 11 years ago, before the first Carnival, Late Nite coordinators weren’t even sure there would be an event.
“At first, many people were skeptical about the idea due to weather concerns,” said Bruce Morgan, director of Student Center programs. “The turnout exceeded our expectations.”
The first carnival attracted 6,150 attendees and included just six rides for Ball State students. Last year, a record number of 8,629 showed up to take part in the festivities.
Bryan Dietz, the program coordinator for Late Nite in 2004, came from Virginia with the idea of a Carnival at Ball State. The Carnival was created as an end-of-year program to give students the chance to relieve some stress and enjoy themselves as the school year ended, Morgan said.
The first Carnival required students to heavily involve themselves in the set-up process as they dug posts to make a fenced area around the carnival.
Thanks to the work of students past, Maureen Warter, the associate director for Student Center Programs, said Carnival is an event students can look forward to every year.
“Carnival has become a tradition at Ball State and I don’t know of any other university that has an event like this on such a big scale,” she said.
Victoria Roderick, a junior anthropology major and Late Nite committee member, will experience her first Carnival this year. She, along with other volunteering students from Late Nite, aren’t digging posts, but they’re still preparing for the day Carnival opens up to Ball State students and guests.
On April 15, student workers started setting up rides. By the night of April 16, they’ll know what station they’ll work at during the Carnival.
Final pieces aren’t put together until 3 p.m., allowing pre-registered people to enter the Carnival at 6 p.m. on April 17.
Roderick estimates the process totals about 13-15 hours of work from Late Nite workers and volunteers, but to her, it’s all worth it.
“This is the one event to end the year off with a bang before finals,” Roderick said. “Students are graduating and everyone will be doing their own thing for the summer and future."