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Opportunities to fling a cricket, participate in permanent campus mural await at Spring Fest

Spring Fest returns in 2022 with activities and attractions featuring the College of Agriculture as well as other colleges and student organizations.

One well-known contest will look a little different from years past.

In honor of the cricket spitting tradition, a Guiness Book of World Records-holding sport of 32 feet five inches invented by Purdue entomology professor emeritus Tom Turpin, entomology outreach coordinator Gwen Pearson said cricket flinging was identified as a good replacement that would also be viewed as a safer option.

The humanely euthanized, frozen crickets will be placed in plastic spoons and flung as far as the participant can launch them. Part of the fun, Pearson said, is contestants can fling the crickets out of the spoons whatever way they choose.

“Although I think most will use the spoon as a catapult, there are no rules that say you can’t spin around with the cricket in the spoon and launch it out like you’re throwing a shot put,” Pearson said.

Pearson said surveys will also be offered to attendees waiting in lines as an opportunity to provide feedback to improve the event in future years.

“We know after 32 years we’re doing something right, but we want to ensure that everyone feels welcome and is having a good time,” Pearson said.

If bugs aren’t one’s cup of tea, another memorable Spring Fest activity will offer a way to leave a permanent mark on Purdue’s campus.

Erika Kvam, interim director and head curator of Purdue Galleries, said through the Lonsford Committee and Endowment, a fund designated to bringing art to campus that is made publicly available, Philidelphia based artist Mat Tomezsko will host a community art project called Free Paint. Free Paint will allow Spring Fest attendees of all ages to paint on sheets of paper that will later be transformed into an art piece that will have a permanent, public home on Purdue’s campus.

“This is a really family-friendly event,” Kvam said. “Some prompts will be available that participants are welcome to follow, but you’re free to paint however you please. Community oriented projects and murals are Mat Tomezsko’s focus, so this is going to be a lot of fun from start to finish.”

A student volunteer holds a lamb for Spring Fest attendees to feel at the petting zoo. A student volunteer holds a lamb for Spring Fest attendees to feel at the petting zoo.

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