This past weekend (April 22) was the 108th UC Davis Picnic Day! This is a super fun event that the university puts on every year, giving the students, faculty, staff, and local community a chance to come together and have some really great times. It’s one of the highlights of the year in Davis, and a really fun tradition.
Sadly, it was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. These were the first times Picnic Day was cancelled outside of a single year during WWII, and while totally reasonable - I wouldn’t have gone if they’d had it, anyway - it was really too bad to miss them.
One of the biggest parts of the day is a huge parade, and every year since 2010, I’ve organized the NCDMC group to drive in it. We get a different number of cars every year - our maximum to date has been 9. Side note, it’s a goal of mine to get 10, but we haven’t quite managed it yet.
Anyway, we are one of the highlights of the parade - crowds absolutely go insane when we cruise by, and it’s just a ton of fun. We dress up in our dorkiest branded t-shirts, blare the Back to the Future soundtrack, do a little bit of synchronized driving with the doors up, etc. It’s low effort on our part and high impact for the crowd!
This time around, I managed to get Clint, Stephen, Rich, Dave S, and myself arranged. Not the biggest turnout but the most loyal members for sure!
Here we are all lined up in our staging area
Me, posing like a dork. Did I mention the dorky branded merch? This is a vintage factory racing jacket.
Kind of a cool shot from the passenger side wing mirror
A goofy selfie of me, with my BTTF II hat on, and the cars all lined up behind me to merge into the parade
Unfortuantely, we did have one minor breakdown in the middle of the parade. I always tell our drivers that this parade is only 10 blocks long, but it’s the hardest day your car will have all year. All the idling, warm weather, tight turning, warm weather, clutching, driving with the doors raised - it’s tough on even the best maintained car. The most common issue we see is overheating, and this year was no exception.
We’re still troubleshooting exactly why, but one of our drivers (not me) seems to have had an electrical glitch in their fans, which allowed the cooling system to develop an air bubble and barf a lot of the coolant out of the overflow bottle. This starts a vicious cycle where the bubble gets bigger, the engine starts to run dry, and of course, overheating is next. Luckily he caught it very quickly, pulled over into a safe alley, and we came back at the end of the parade to help him refill and get back on his way.
And of course, no parade is complete without a beer afterwards. We stopped at the farm to try some of the new releases.