Leasing agency hosts Reading Day Eve carnival

As the sun started to set on the last day of UIUC’s spring 2021 semester, local leasing agency American Campus Communities hosted a “carnival crawl” for students to relax and blow off some steam ahead of finals.

The largest event ACC has hosted since the pandemic started, the carnival was a “crawl” in the sense that it was spread out at several ACC properties in Campustown, each with its own attractions and activities. Students were treated to a petting zoo, inflatables, games such as Velcro axe throwing and a dunk tank, a DJ and giveaways. The crowd included residents from ACC properties who knew in advance the carnival would be happening as well as those who didn’t know, but happened upon it as they were walking through the area.

After 15 weeks of school and COVID-19 protocols, which included spring break being canceled and replaced by three “wellness days,” students were happy to get out of their residences and away from their schoolbooks and laptops for a few hours and enjoy what the carnival had to offer.

Shea Jennings expressed her relief to be able to get out of her house and participate in an event different from what she has been used to this semester.

“It is quite liberating,” Jennings said. “I’ve been very bored in my house, so I’m glad to be out here with my friends.”

Johnny Hernandez echoed that sentiment, thankful for the chance to escape the reality of school. He spent his time at the carnival enjoying the petting zoo.

“It feels good,” said U of I student Johnny Hernandez. “It feels like something else is going on besides school and it’s pretty cool seeing some animals and de-stressing a little bit.”