AstroC & Spring Carnival: A Tradition
Astronomy Club started building "Blitz Booths" at Spring Carnival in 2003 (we think! We haven't discovered any evidence of earlier booths) and we've built a booth every year since then.
If you're not familiar with this Carnegie Mellon tradition, Spring Carnival takes place every year in mid-April and involves involves a number of events and celebrations in and around the CMU campus. One of these traditions is building "booths" on "Midway." A booth is essentially a large, wooden house-like structure, designed and built by student organizations at CMU. It is designed and decorated thematically, and includes a carnival-style game and prizes for visitors. "Midway" is where the booths are built. This has historically been the Morewood parking lot, but due to the new Tepper quad scheduled to begin construction in the near future, it will likely be located elsewhere soon.
Booths are built over a marathon period of 5 days, and it takes most of the academic year to plan the booth. It's no small task to assemble a wooden house so quickly, and carnival is a significant undertaking. This is why we elect a booth chair or chairs to take responsibility for going to planning meetings, designing the booth, and supervsing the build process.
Astronomy Club is one of the smallest organizations that participates in booth-building at Carnival. We compete in the category of "Blitz Booth" which is smaller than the full-sized orgs. We've occasionally won awards for our booths, and we're proud to say that we have been able to complete a booth every year despite the limitations inherent to our small student org. Building a booth is a lot of work, but it's one of the quintessential CMU experiences, and if you happen to be interested at all in participating, Astronomy Club could always use extra hands. We think it's worth the effort.