The Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 12, 1999
Apr. 5, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 30


Spring Fair Bets on a Winning Weekend

Jackpot '99 will feature three days of Vegas-like gambling, entertainment

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

A chapel of love, Elvis impersonators and games of chance--the only thing missing is Wayne Newton. This Vegas-like atmosphere will be transplanted to Homewood as part of Hopkins' 28th annual Spring Fair. The three-day event, whose theme is Jackpot '99, will begin at noon on Friday, April 16.

The student-run festival is one of the largest of its kind, typically drawing more than 150,000 visitors to campus for fun, food and festivities. And this year, a little gambling.

George Laufenberg, co-chair of the festival, said he is betting on this year's theme to be highly visible.

Neeru Bansal and George Laufenberg, co-chairs of this year's Spring Fair.

"One of the problems in past years has been that the theme has not been prominent enough. But we feel this is an exciting, active theme that people can get into," said Laufenberg, a senior in The Writing Seminars.

Some of the highlights include Saturday's casino night in the Great Hall and Glass Pavilion of Levering Hall and a performance at Shriver Hall by popular rapper Eminem.

Casino night will feature card tables and various games such as the money wheel. But instead of dollars, players will win tickets to be redeemed for prizes. And there will be a raffle, too--for four trips for two to Las Vegas.

"We will also have performances by 'Elvis' and 'Marilyn Monroe,'" said Neeru Bansal, the festival's other co-chair, "and a chapel of love, in which couples will actually be getting married."

Well, sort of.

"It will be the whole ceremony," said Bansal, a senior majoring in biology. "But it's not official, of course."

Spring Fair is run by a 45-member staff, many of whom will be hard to miss in their multicolored joker hats. Bansal said that close to 500 students have been involved with preparations and operations of the festival, which will also include live music, arts and crafts, games and carnival rides for children, food vendors and a beer garden.

This year also features a photography contest, with People's Choice and Judge's Choice awards to be given.

Daytime festival hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; admission and parking are free. Casino night is 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are required for Eminem.