Mayfest: A Love Story


Photo by Chaz Delgado It’s 9 a.m. on a Friday — the only Friday of the entire year that you’re up before noon. It’s a true college Christmas (or Hannukah) morning, and you feel campus buzzing with pre-pregame jitters. How many kegs will you find? How many Jell-O shots will you toss back? What buildings will you pee on? Will you actually make it to Block Party this time?

Excitement lies around every corner and in every backyard on Euclid. You’re practically jumping with glee as you buckle your fanny pack and slip on the finest bucket hat you own. The possibilities on Mayfest seem endless, including the possibility of finding true love—or, more likely, a hookup.

It’s nearing noon. You’re dressed and ready to go. Of course, you already have a Keystone Light waiting for you on your dresser that you quickly chug. Using your favorite ‘Cuse basketball jersey, you proudly wipe off your chin and head outside.

You and your frat bros assemble to do a couple shotguns (which you always win) before they get the tunes bumpin’. You can only hear bass, which is exactly how you prefer it, because hearing lyrics to songs is so overrated these days. Soon enough the biddies start filing into the backyard of your bright red/green/blue Euclid house and the party is well underway. You’ve secured a spot on the highest balcony of your home to show that you’re not only the coolest person at the pregame, but also an alpha.

That’s when you see her. Even through your lettered sunglasses that don’t serve any practical use, you spy a pair of colorful knee-high socks up in the air. They belong to a girl doing a keg stand like a pro as the crowd cheers her on. A dude dressed as Santa Claus lifts her in the air when she’s finished, and that’s when the sequins on her fanny pack shine into your eyes. She’s a beer-guzzling goddess.

Brittany, or Ashley, or Sarah or whatever her name is gets tossed off Santa’s shoulders and almost sticks the landing, but doesn’t. She’s adjusting her double buns when she realizes she doesn’t have a drink, a Mayfest-er’s worst nightmare. Before real panic sets in, you swoop in like a true hero and tap her on the shoulder. You brought her both a Keystone Light and your homemade jungle juice—the fancy stuff.

She’s swooning. You try to introduce yourselves to each other, but the bass is too loud so instead you just sorta stare drunkenly into each other’s eyes. You cheers as the song changes and have an impromptu chugging competition all without exchanging words. It’s beautiful, but it doesn’t last. The combination of not really knowing where you are anymore and joining different groups of kinda-friends that you randomly meet up with on days like Mayfest causes you and Brittany/Ashley/Sarah (let’s call her Brittany) to separate.

Brittany finds herself at Castle Court in a sea of frat boy look-a-likes. Determined to carry on the festivities, she snags a hot pic with a bottle of André that she picked up off the ground. Isn’t she so cute? The castle vibes are strong—almost as strong as the OG Castle Court of 2014. #RIP. She’s once again lifted up on someone’s shoulders and looks down, secretly hoping it’s you—but to her disappointment it’s just another bucket hat in the crowd.

You couldn’t make it all the way down to Castle Court, but instead got held up at your bros’ Kegs and Eggs gathering. You shovel some eggs down your throat and do a keg stand minutes after, like the champ that you are. While accepting massive chest bumps and sloppy high-fives, you remember your keg stand queen. You catch a pair of double buns in the crowd and your heart flutters, but upon looking down you see an absence of colored socks. To your disappointment it’s just another set of nameless buns.

You miraculously arrive at Walnut Park. No one really knows who’s on the stage, but Brittany is off dancing somewhere like it’s the Chainsmokers again. Meanwhile, you’re in line for a classic Mayfest corn dog and several other items on the only day that SU gives out anything for free. You’re digging into your third plate (or is it your fourth?) when you see a sobbing Brittany under a tree. One of her double buns came out, but that’s not the source of her distress: the corn dogs have run out.

The saddest fact of Mayfest is that they don’t last forever, because good things never do. You look down at your corn dog, mouth goodbye to its fried golden goodness and offer it over to Brittany. You’ve saved the day once more. The bass from the stage still makes it impossible for you to talk to each other, so you sit in silence and watch Brittany scarf down your beloved corn dog.

Walnut Park on Mayfest has the ability to distort both time and place, and it seems like you were only there for ten minutes before the park empties out and everyone is heading home to crash. Right on cue, Brittany hops onto your back and you travel home together, back to the place where this unsuspecting day kicked off. You don’t even consider setting an alarm for Block Party, because no one ever makes it anyway. You and Brittany wake up in your bed later that night. She’s in your block party tee and you’re still in those sunglasses. You look at each other in post-dage nap confusion, shrug and blissfully return to corn dog dreamland. It’s a Mayfest happily ever after.