A soggy fall season cancels hobo bonfire

Emma Dejong

Emma DejongManaging Editor

The Hobo Day bonfire has been cancelled this year.

“It was completely unavoidable,” Grand Pooba Robin Bickel said.

Bickel met with the Facilities and Service Department to discuss the planning for the bonfire, and through those conversations they decided to cancel it.

In previous years, the bonfire was held north of the Coughlin-Alumni Stadium where the university is now building a parking lot for tailgating. Bickel and Catherine Bigbee, the University Program Council adviser, said this is why the bonfire was cancelled.

“The place where we usually have it is under construction,” Bickel said.

While Bigbee and Bickel said they were told construction was the issue, Dean Kattelmann, vice president of facilities and services, and Margie Carpenter, daily operations coordinator of facilities and services, said flooding was a major problem.

“There was no appropriate dry ground available,” said Carpenter, who worked most closely with Bickel in the decision process.

Bickel said that while she was disappointed not to have the bonfire, aspects like bum stew and the beard-growing contest known as the One Month club were moved to the kickoff on Oct. 17.

“We’re still really excited for Ben Kweller and hope people get into Hobo Week,” Bickel said.

Bigbee also said losing the bonfire does not take away from the excitement of the other events.

“While we regret that we can’t have a bonfire this year, we are optimistic … to make this week successful for all students,” Bigbee said.

Bickel said the tradition of the bonfire has not died.

“I’m hoping that we can find a spot on campus to revisit the bonfire next year and years to come,” Bickel said. “I do think the bonfire is a great event and I want it to become a tradition on campus.”

#1.1717677:4099173804.png:bonfire.png:Normally held north of campus, the traditional Hobo Day bonfire will be skipped this year due to construction.:File Photo