Another example of what makes the university that I work at stand out from all the others took place this past Friday. Under sunny skies and warm temperatures, I covered my first CINO Day at Coastal Carolina University. The acronym-named day (CINO stands for “Coastal is Number One”) is circled on the CCU calendar each year and is a major source of pride at our institution.
CINO Day has evolved quite a bit over the decades but what it has established itself as over the past several years is a full blown afternoon of fun, food, and celebration. While many universities have annual festival days, I think you would be hard pressed to find an event as anticipated and glorified.
I went into my coverage of CINO Day not knowing exactly what to expect. I had heard people rave about it for the past year but you never know how much is legit and how much is hype. I received a good indication of how seriously this event is taken when I went out on Prince Lawn at 11:15 a.m. to see a huge line of students waiting patiently for the noon start time. When the clock hit 12 p.m., the students in line would receive the free CINO Day tank top and the fun would begin. Right when the designated time hit, the line started moving and the party began.
Most first notice the rides at. The organizing body of CINO Day, the student-run Coastal Activities Board (CAB), orders in a full-sized ferris wheel. Students who hop on this attraction enjoy a wonderful view of Prince Lawn once their cage takes them to the very top. Then you also have the Round Up, a ride that was packed the whole afternoon. Most impressive though is the zip line that is brought in. The particular one for CINO Day allowed two people to go at once. I watched more than one time as riders had to overcome their fears and take the plunge. I saw one girl stand at the very top for about five minutes before descending.
If inflatables are your thing, CINO Day had you covered this year. A large blow up climbing wall was set up, a Velcro bouncey jump was installed, a freefalling double slide was offered, and a mechanical surfboard surrounded by an inflatable pit intrigued countless students to give it a try.
I knew little about the exotic animals on display until I arrived on scene. You had a leopard, birds, a big ol’ snake, and a MONKEY. The excitement for the monkey was insane as people circled around the creature and his caretaker for the full four hours. Although I don’t know how exotic this animal is, they also had a porcupine out there as well.
For all that is made about college students always being hungry and on the lookout for free food, CINO Day is an oasis for them. Since the theme was Hawaiian, students could pick through a large spread of tropical food under one of the tents. Buffalo Wild Wings was also on hand serving up free wings. Cotton candy was unlimited. An island smoothie stand and an Italian ice cart provided cool treats throughout the course of the warm day as well. Everything was free.
You also had the attractions that give CINO Day such personality that don’t really fit in the categories above. A fire breather performed the whole afternoon. A DJ was on hand as students danced in the middle of Prince Lawn. Several campus and community entities set up booths and handed out free items. Art stations were set up for students to create something that they could take home and always remember CINO Day 2015 by.
Yes, I think CINO Day lived up to the hype. A lot more went on at the event than what I had anticipated. I kept thinking to myself that I wished something like this existed where I went to school at. As I mentioned above, CINO Day was organized by one of our amazing student organizations, an incredible feat considering the festivities went off without a hitch. Great job to the Coastal Activities Board and I can’t wait for CINO Day 2016. Don’t Blink.