Derby Days event offers summer fun, relaxation ahead of finals week

On the lawn of Haymaker Hall, sophomores Rebekah Castle (left) and Chloe Scott play a game of cornhole during the Derby Days outdoor carnival. The event was jointly planned by the four residence halls in the Derby Complex on the Kansas State campus. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and students living in the Derby Complex group of residence halls got a head start on summer fun Sunday evening at the Derby Days carnival held on the lawn of Haymaker Hall.

As an event free for Kansas State students, Derby Days had plenty to get students in the mood for summer, from hamburgers and hot dogs to carnival games and snow cones. The event was jointly planned by students in all of the residence halls in the Derby Complex, including Ford Hall, West Hall, Moore Hall and Haymaker.

Each of the residence halls was responsible for contributing something to the event. For example, Moore provided the food and Ford was responsible for the Derby Days T-shirts and marketing.

Victoria Feldkamp (left) and Jess Girdler, building coordinators for West Hall and Haymaker Hall, respectively, grill hamburgers during the Derby Days event. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

Ian Nichols, sophomore in life sciences and vice president of Haymaker, was on the planning committee responsible for the inflatables at the carnival.

“This year was the first year all of the different Derby communities took on this event together, so we could spread out some of the responsibilities,” Nichols said.

Some of the activities available to students included obstacle courses, bounce houses, hamster ball racing and a dunk tank. All of these attractions were run by volunteers in Derby Days shirts.

Lily Hurt, sophomore in food science and industry, was one of the students running the inflatables.

“Basically, my role was to help plan it and get all of the events set up as well as to help run the event,” Hurt said. “It’s a lot of fun; you get to be like a carnival worker for a day.”

Marcus Cottrell, Moore Hall building coordinator, flips burgers while students mingle on the lawn of Haymaker Hall during the Derby Days event. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

Mara Peek, freshman in communication studies, said it was great that the residence halls in the Derby Complex provided free food since dinner is not otherwise available to students in the Derby Dining Center on Sundays.

“It’s crazy because we have a lead up to finals week, so it’s nice to not have to worry about it,” Peek said.

In the future, Nichols said he hopes the Kramer Complex will also get involved in Derby Days.

“I would like to [get Kramer involved], hopefully next year since I will be living there to tell people about Derby Days,” Nichols said.