The Festival of Color is a California Baptist University event that traditionally takes place later in the spring semester. The festival itself stems from a traditional Indian holiday, Holi, and involves a multitude of brightly colored paints, plenty of food and drink and an entire day of celebration. CBU students cherish this event, and many hold it as their favorite event of the entire year.
However, due to the pandemic, the festival looked different this particular year. While this can be difficult, many students were satisfied to even have an on-campus event this year at all.
Derrick Meese, senior film major and intern at the International Center, said that the event, held on March 31 at the Lancer Arms lawn, looked different but still promises to be a fun and amusing event for all students to attend.
“This year’s Festival of Color is unique in that unlike past festivals, attendees arrived already covered in colors,” Meese said. “We were sad to let go of the iconic color fight, but we made the most of it by having students tye-dye their shirts and show off their colors as we enjoy music, snacks and hospitality from the culture of India.”
The event may not have included the powdered paint being thrown into the air, but there were promising signs that many students would still attend the event. One group that was particularly excited to hear about the event were the freshmen, who have not gotten the chance to witness, let alone participate, in the majority of traditional CBU events and festivities.
Matthew Olson, freshman electrical and computer engineering double major, said he anticipated the event, as it is one of the first true events that the school has put on since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I’ve heard plenty about the traditional event from my sister, who is currently a junior,” Olson said. “I was super excited to hear that there is going to be an event on campus, and personally, I couldn’t wait to attend.”
Though many freshmen anticipated the festival with excitement, many upperclassmen may not have held a similar sentiment towards the event. For those of them that attended, the event was mostly bittersweet, as they recall the memories of events that they have attended in the past.
Nathaniel Loyd, senior mechanical engineering major, reflects on the past Festival of Color events that he has attended, and said he looked forward to attending once again.
“The Festival of Color has been a massive highlight for me since my first year at CBU,” Loyd said. “It’s definitely one of those events that bring the entire campus together with a ton of energy.”
Loyd said he was glad this event and others have still been held, although they may be structured differently than past years.
“I’ve had a blast coming out to it with my friends and definitely have a ton of great memories from it,” Loyd said. “Even with a lot changing with how events work now, I was still really stoked to see how CBU incorporates it this year.”
This year’s Festival of Color was wholly unique from its predecessors. Henna stations were set up, as well as food stands serving traditional Indian delicacies.
Dancing, music and much more were also present at the event, just as they were in the past. Above all, one element that was present was the sense of campus community, which many students may feel they need now more than ever.