Picnic Day 2023: ‘Ignite the Moment’

The 2023 Picnic Day Board wanted to “Ignite the Moment,” and did they ever ... putting on a momentous 109th edition of our campus open house, last Saturday (April 15). A crowd in the tens of thousands turned out in mild weather — sunshine with a high temperature around 70 — for a glimpse into the day-to-day of UC Davis’ work in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts, with a healthy dose of fun thrown in.

Students, staff and faculty all pitched in, organizing exhibits and greeting visitors, handing out strawberry plants, fig plants, tomato plants, grapevines and other goodies, including liquid nitrogen sorbet, and putting our best feet forward, and not just in the parade.

Strategic Communications’ principal photographers Karin Higgins and Gregory Urquiaga roamed the campus from early morning to late in the afternoon, and we asked them to share some of their favorite images. Plus a few from Dateline editor Dave Jones.

First things first

Picnic Day UC Davis Marching Band in parade
The UC Davis Marching Band leads the Picnic Day Parade. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Like 3 peas in a pod

Picnic Day 2023 person in pea costume
Photographer Gregory Urquiaga saw a pea (from the Student Farm) ...
Picnic Day 2023 person in cow costume
... and a cow, of course ...
Picnic Day 2023 person in chicken costume
... and a shy chicken.
Picnic Day baby chicks
Oh, and real (baby) chickens, too.

A hands-on day

Picnic Day hands-on science demonstration
DataLab exhibit: First, make mountains and lakes in the augmented reality sandbox, then add simulated rain by holding your hands over the topography. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis) ​
Picnic Day barrell making
The heat is on: Barrel making at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)
Grad student teaches hand gestures to boy
Peyton Young, Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, instructs Chaitanya Patil in the hand movements that will serve to remotely guide a ball through a maze, as if we were fitted with a mechanical arm. (Dave Jones/UC Davis)

Fun and games

Picnic Day giant Scrabble board
Professor Carl Whithaus plays letters at the top of the University Writing Program’s giant Scrabble board. (Dave Jones/UC Davis)
Picnic Day: Student tries roping
Fourth-year theatre and dance major Arden Sladeck gives roping a try at the Cole Facility. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

We love the Doxies

Picnic Day 2023 Doxie Derby crowd cheers
Doxie Derby crowd cheers on the little racers. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
Picnic Day daschund held in the air above head
Hail to the dachshund! (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
Picnic Day kitten love
And give some love to the kitties, too, at the Orphan Kitten Project. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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