After nearly a year and a half of Zoom events, the Union Programming Council has once again hosted Crimson Nights at the A. Ray Olpin Union, along with a crowd of approximately 3,000 University of Utah students who attended on August 27. Provided with entertainment, music, free food, and opportunities to get involved on the U campus, students filled the space in front of the Union with a mass of laughter and cheers.
Planning began in May and continued throughout the summer to ensure the success of the event. Crimson Nights director Kyra Hirasuna, senior at U, combined her efforts with the knowledge and expertise of four other assistant directors, Clista Galecki, Marcela Morales, Sadie Ortiz and Sally Tran, to generate ideas for the event. Each individual specialized in a section such as recruiting volunteers, controlling damage and orchestrating decorations.
“We had over 2,000 people in the first two hours which is crazy… The virtual was harder,” Hirasuna said. “Yes, we’ve always found ways to reach a lot of people, like we still had around 400 people in our first Crimson Nights. [last year]. It’s really impressive, which I didn’t expect considering it’s virtual.
Due to COVID-19 and the evolution of the pandemic, only U students have been allowed to attend, for contact tracing precautions.
“After not doing something like this for so long, having an in-person event again felt like something I just had to get used to again,” said sophomore Nadine Bahati. “I was feeling a little skeptical about participating in a big event where I didn’t know who was vaccinated and who was not vaccinated. But overall it was a good time.
UPC welcomed a new DJ to the event named Ricky Barrera. He had played in every school in Utah except U, so Hirasuna decided it was time to send him an invite.
Combined with free J. Dawgs hot dogs, a foam pit, an inflatable obstacle course, and San Diablo Churros, the UPC had plenty to do.
“The whole time I was running I didn’t really enjoy the event, because I made sure everything else was okay,” said Hirasuna. “So the last 15 minutes our whole organization was just dancing on stage, with the DJ being amazing, so I think that was my favorite part, just enjoying the last 10 minutes.”
The UPC will now start planning for the next Crimson Night, which will be held soon on April 1.