Ah spring. People tanning on the beach, Hop Cops pouring out students’ 40s, and Spring Fair, one of the only events that makes going to a
soul-crushing rigorous institution like Hopkins tolerable.
For returning students, no explanation is necessary. But for those of you out there who haven’t experienced a Spring Fair: it’s a magical weekend (April 24-26 this year) where students are encouraged to pretend they don’t have responsibilities, and instead kick it with their friends and tan, drink, etc. outdoors (read: go to college).
The campus is divided up into multiple areas: Arts and Crafts, Kids, the Beer Garden (a rite of passage for those over 21 of course), and other fun events. But, as a Spring Fair staffer and self-proclaimed fat man, the Food Quad is perhaps my favorite spot of all. Located on the Freshman Quad, the Food Quad is stacked with 21 food and drink vendors, who provide a much-needed respite from the usual grind of FFC and instant ramen.
You can make your way around all 21 vendors in one Fair. It’s possible, I’ve done it. But, if you don’t want 1) a hole in your wallet the size of the sinkhole on 26th Street or 2) a stomach so bloated even Louie CK would be concerned for your health, check out this official veteran’s guide to the Spring Fair Food Quad.
Disclaimer: start your workouts now. Calorie counting is for losers.
Wild Bill’s Soda
While technically not a food item, Wild Bill’s is still a Spring Fair institution. Purchasing a collectible Spring Fair tankard grants you unlimited access to as much craft soda as you could ever want.
Not only that, but the tankard is a behemoth and can hold all sorts of beverages in large quantities. Pro tip: unlimited soda + nondescript container. Use your imagination.
Never had the time or the energy to drive down to Chaps Pit Beef? Luckily for you, Spring Fair is bringing America’s real favorite pastime (barbecue) to the Freshman Quad. There are a bunch of options for ribs, but they’re all delicious, served in one of those flimsy red and white paper trays. Fries and slaw optional.
If you don’t know what a blooming onion is, think of it as an onion ring on steroids. An entire onion is chopped, battered, fried, and served with dipping sauce. This marvel of fast food engineering, clocking in at an ungodly 1,936 calories per 6 servings, or 1 onion, is a staple of the American fair and should be experienced at least once. Preferably with friends.
I’ll be honest, the first time I had an oversized turkey leg was at Spring Fair. Coincidentally, the first time I ever truly lived was at that same Spring Fair. Check your self-respect at the door and give into your inner animal instincts. Grasp that mammoth turkey leg in your hand, disregard the stares of jealous onlookers, and feast away.
Chicken On Stick
Chicken On Stick is a Spring Fair staff favorite. Not to be confused with Chicken On a Stick (which is still great), Chicken On Stick features tender pieces of chicken on a skewer. There’s no vegetable nonsense on this kebab, no sir. It’s not glamorous or gourmet, but that’s the beauty of it. Chicken on Stick is delicious, practical, and leaves one hand free for golf cart driving.
Fried Oreos are the perennial powerhouse of Spring Fair. They’re a food item so American, Ronald Reagan smiles every time one is made and Putin sheds a single tear every time one is eaten.
If you haven’t had one, this is the time to cross it off your bucket list. Soft, chocolaty, and dusted with confectioner’s sugar, the fried Oreo is about as Spring Fair as Spring Fair gets. Grab a lawn chair, a drink, some fried Oreos, and bask in the sweet smell of freedom and shirked responsibilities.
With all that said, have a wonderful and safe Spring Fair and remember: Anything is Fair Game.
Check out these posts for day brunching and Spring Fair-esque events from other, less soul-crushing institutions: