U of G shows off its royal roots at College Royal
The University of Guelph’s College Royal weekend, the largest university open house event in North America, runs March 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All open house events are free and open to the public.
This year’s theme, “Showing Off Our Royal Roots,” makes Kim Waalderbos, the 2004 College Royal celebrant, very happy. While she was growing up on a dairy farm in Amherst, Nova Scotia, her parents always taught her to educate people about agriculture. As the official representative and major spokesperson for College Royal events, she’s keen to highlight the agricultural traditions of the open house that began 80 years ago.
“The livestock show was the main event when College Royal first began in 1925 and is still going strong today,” she said. “Events and displays highlighting all the colleges keep being added to build on the strong tradition that’s at the core of it all.”
Waalderbos says she’s more excited than nervous about interacting with the 30,000 people expected to turn out for College Royal this year. The red banner and dress suit she’ll be wearing at this year’s events will be a change from her appearance at College Royal last year. Back then, she was covered in milk, eggs, Jello and mud after participating in the “Super Thursday” relays. “It’s the silliest, craziest, messiest fun you’ll ever have,” she said of the event, which involves teams of six chugging milk, tossing eggs, eating Jello and throwing pies.
This year’s open house features traditional favourites such as the livestock show, logging competition and dog and cat shows, as well as a photography contest, spelling bee and Gryphon Jeopardy. The weekend will also feature numerous displays and activities by student clubs and individual departments, a juried art show at Zavitz Hall, hands-on teddy bear surgery for kids at the Ontario Veterinary College, tours of the Wild Bird Clinic, synchronized swimming demonstrations and a chemistry magic show.
Another College Royal tradition is the annual Curtain Call musical production, with this year’s company performing Cabaret March 18 to 20 at 8 p.m. in War Memorial Hall, with a 2 p.m. matinee March 20. Tickets are $10.
Also scheduled are a number of team events, including a flower arranging competition, square dance competition, seeds and forages competition and pancake-flipping contest. In addition, a lecture series will run throughout the weekend, featuring talks on a variety of topics being studied at U of G, including food science, children’s theatre and nutrient waste management.
A complete listing of all College Royal events and activities is available on the web at www.collegeroyal.uoguelph.ca. Programs are also available on campus and at numerous locations throughout the city.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.