Reb’s Foodie Fest A Successful Event After Spring Break

UNLV Students Jorden Nelson and Ashleigh Liebig pet the camel in the petting zoo. Photo by Stephanie Overton

Students who were walking through Pida Plaza last Wednesday, March 23rd between 11 A.M. and 2 P.M. may have been surprised to see food trucks, a mechanical bull, and even a camel! Reb’s Foodie Fest, hosted by the Rebel Events Board, was a fun reprieve for students to showcase campus involvement and get students excited after spring break. 

The event provided free food to all students who attended from food trucks offering an assortment of foods from local businesses (Sin City Pizza, Tiger Belly) and barbeque catering from Rollin Smoke Barbeque. 

Students who attended Foodie Fest received a wristband which gave them a ticket to get Rollin Smoke Barbeque, food from the food trucks, and access to play all of the carnival games as many times as they wanted. There were about a dozen different carnival games to play. 

Every time students played a carnival game, they received tickets which they could take to the prize booth and turn in for prizes just like at any other carnival. The prizes ranged from small little trinket toys to an assortment of stuffed animals of all different sizes.

One of the carnival games which was a big success was the mechanical bull ride competition. Students would saddle up and see who could last the longest on the bull, with the winner receiving a Nintendo Switch. All of the prizes and funding for the event, including the Switch, came from the Rebel Events Board.

The winner of the mechanical bull competition was an Junior here at UNLV, Anthony McCulloch-Howard. The Athletic Training student lasted on the bull for one minute and 19 seconds, with the next closest person falling at one minute and 14 seconds. 

Another successful carnival game was the dunk tank. Students were given five tries to throw a softball at a target, and if it hit, the person sitting in the tank would be submerged. The two people that students could line up to dunk were Jason DeMaria, the Student Engagement Specialist in the Office of Admissions, and Caren Yap, the current CSUN President. 

DeMaria estimates that he was dunked 30 to 45 times during his hour and a half shift at the tank. 

Another part of the event that was especially popular with the students was the petting zoo. There were a variety of animals that students could pet and visit with, but the star of the show was a very large, very chill camel who was brought specifically because of what day of the week it was.

“Since the event [was] held on a Wednesday, they brought back the camel for “Hump Day,” DeMaria told us. 

Students like Journalism majors Jorden Nelson and Ashleigh Liebig gathered around the camel in hoards to pet his soft fur and take pictures and selfies with him. 

“Honestly, the camel was the first thing I noticed,” said Nelson, “I made a joke about UNLV taking ‘Hump Day’ seriously, and turns out I was right, which I thought was pretty funny.”

Overall, the event was extremely successful, with the only critique coming from students being that there could have been a better system to get students checked in. The line to check in for Foodie Fest was long and disorganized, with some students waiting in line for over 45 minutes. 

Check out the Rebel Events Board’s Instagram page, @rebunlv, for more information on any of their upcoming events.


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