The Day of the Bear

April 22, 1998

It's April, and Diadeloso has once again taken over the campus of Baylor University. The much anticipated and greatly appreciated day¡off for students during the spring semester is back.

The tradition began in 1934 under the presidency of Pat Neff. No spring break was held, leaving students and faculty in need of a day off. Sponsored by the physical education department, "May Day" was held at Silver Lake near McGregor and was a day of recreation for the University community.

In the early 1940s, the Baylor Chamber of Commerce inherited the task of coordinating this day off. Prior to that time, this day was not widely accepted. Since then, however, it has become a favorite spring pastime on the Baylor campus.

In 1966, under the supervision of the Chamber, the holiday took on a new name. Elections were held to determine the new identity of this traditional event. Mary Ann Wood, a senior Spanish major from Arlington, suggested to friends the words "dia del oso," meaning "day of the bear." Unbeknownst to her, the idea was added to the list of potential names. During voting, it easily won over all other suggestions.

In 1983, Diadeloso took on its new format of tournaments, a block party and organizational booths. Although this year's event will not see a block party, students can be assured plenty of entertainment and activities will exist on the University's intramural fields, located at Bagby Avenue and University Parks Drive.

Prior to this year, Diadeloso was only celebrated by the students. However, a new tradition will begin this year with faculty and staff taking the afternoon off to participate in the activities.

"It's a tradition for Baylor to be a family," said Bradley Simmons, Diadeloso chairman. "This is an opportunity to bond and fellowship with faculty and fellow students."

Events begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday with a 5K run. They continue throughout the day, and most will be held at the intramural fields. Tournament competitions include 3¡on¡3 basketball, tug¡of¡war, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, golf, taboo, pool, racquetball and tennis.

In addition to the tournaments held by Chamber, various campus organizations will sponsor booths. These range from snow cone stands and cotton candy booths to games such as human bowling, a car smash, a dunking booth, and "Beared Out," modeled after the MTV show Singled Out.

Various types of entertainment will also be offered throughout the day. Back by popular demand is hypnotist Terry Stokes. He will perform at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on the center stage and at 3:30 p.m. in the entertainment tent.

Musical entertainment will include Fat Kid Randy at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., and Little Foster and the Unknown Blues Band at 4:30 p.m. In addition, jugglers Grinn and Barrett will perform at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on the center stage and 2:30 p.m. in the entertainment tent.

Additional entertainment includes the new Baylor Spirit Squad at 10:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. and the National Panhellenic Council step competition at 3 p.m.

For the second year, students will be able to vote for student body officer candidates until 4 p.m. Cafeterias will be closed, but a noon meal will be served on the Diadeloso grounds for those students with meal plans.

This year's Diadeloso Queen will also be crowned during the day. The winner is based on the amount of money collected on behalf of each nominee during the week prior to Diadeloso.

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