By Brennen DiMarzo | Reporter, Video By George Schroeder | Broadcast Reporter
Today, for the first time since freshman year, I participated in a Diadeloso event and went to the exotic petting zoo. In years past, I never had the desire to go to the petting zoo, though there was the opportunity. With this being my last Diadeloso, I decided to finally give it a try.
Walking to the petting zoo, I must admit I miss the commotion and craziness of Diadeloso’s past. The huge crowds of people, tents and vendors set up everywhere, and the excitement of getting a day off school was all missing from the experience. However, that isn’t to say that the petting zoo had a charm of its own.
When approaching Fountain Mall there were streamers connected to the trees and Diadeloso signs to the left and right. And finally, the three tall letters D, I, A came into view, a sense of nostalgia crept up from my freshman year.
There were two large gated areas both filled with different kinds of animals. The first station I came to had a horse, donkey and an alpaca. I waited in the long line until I was finally able to enter the enclosure along with a handful of other students. While the donkey didn’t seem to take a shine to me, both the horse and the alpaca were very friendly and ate out of my hand when presented with food.
The second enclosure had much more interesting animals in my opinion. I was able to pet a small kangaroo, an otter and a small lemur. Two rather large rabbits and a large porcupine also occupied my second stop.
In truth, I think my favorite part of the event was the spirit of everyone. Families with young kids and students were equally excited to participate, pet the kangaroo and so on. That’s always heartwarming to me. For the first time in a while, I felt that sense of school community because during COVID-19, I mostly stayed at home, I almost never ventured onto campus. Being out and about with everyone upbeat and excited to play with animals reminded me of why Diadeloso is important.
Some people might be upset that we didn’t get the usual day off school, with events running throughout the day, but I’d suggest otherwise: go out and give it a try. There’s something about the commemorative events, the energy on campus and participation, it made me miss when I was a freshman celebrating my first Diadeloso.
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