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'Nothing Like It': Thousands Celebrate UC Davis Picnic Day Tradition

DAVIS (CBS13) - UC Davis' campus was packed Saturday with people, music, food, and activities in the return of Picnic Day. The event is back for the first time since a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

All 200 events returned this year—from Battle of the Bands to the Doxie Derby, a fan favorite for years. The festivities doubled as an alumni fundraising effort with proceeds going to the alumni association and student associations.

Some indoor activities required symptom screening and a COVID-19 rapid test. Held outdoors, and masks were encouraged but not required.

"It was really hard to recreate this type of energy in a computer," said Amanda Portier, Picnic Day Chair.

Portier said an hour before the event ended she believed the expectations of 70,000 people in attendance was reached -- but official confirmation is still in the works. She said after two years without Picnic Day in person, the planning team wanted to ensure a special experience.

"I was looking around and it was so crazy because I haven't been to something like that since pre-pandemic," said first-year student Nicky Lonsway.

Davis Police Department received support from state and local agencies with a ramped-up security plan. Partners from the Department of Beverage Control, Dept. of Corrections, and Dept. of Fish and Wildlife were some of the state agencies that stepped up to help.

Locally, Davis Police received support from Woodland, Winters, and Dixon Police Departments as well as the Yolo County Sheriff's Office.

"It was really hard to try to re-create this type of energy in a computer keep as many picnic day traditions as we could for those who really need I feel the picnic day spirit during Covid," said Portier.

Davis Police patrols were out Saturday night in areas of the city to respond to potential large party complaints, DUI, Public Intoxication, and other crimes.

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