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April 25, 1952 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1952-04-25

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Michigras Celebrates 50 Gala Years

* * *

Wide Assortment of Displays
Highlighted Early FairYears

* . .

A liberal sprinkling of the bi-
zarre and a generous helping of
color and noise has been the suc-
cessful recipe for fifty years of
Early Michigras festivities were
carried on under the title of the
"County Fair," and were sponsored
by the Union to raise money for
such things as the Union swim-
ming pool, and.a recreation club-
room. The shows were presented
in Barbour and Waterman gym-
nasiums by men's groups on cam-
pus. *
A NOTABLE feature of the
early carnivals was the special ef-
fort made to lure women to the
carnival. A Daily of 1924 vintage
quotes the general chairman of the
Fair as welcoming women, "by all
means," in answer to a question
that was bothering certain of the

women students at the University.
A booth was set up in which
sorority women could compete to
see which was the best group.
Pictures of women representing
each sorority were set up, and
the one most often hit by the
patrons' darts was deemed the
winner, thus indicating the best
One fair was notable for its col-
lection of fantastic animals, in-
cluding "The Great Egressum," a
giant mammal from a dark and
unknown corner of Africa; a Mi-
chizapo, a zebra so named for its
yellow and blue stripes; a collec-
tion of wierd snakes, and several
* * *
A ROMAN CIRCUS highlighted
the fair one season, and slaves and
dancing 'girls' took the center of
the stage for a Christianity vs.

Paper Stuff.
Paper napkins came into
their own during the construc-
tion of floats and booths for
this year's Michigras.
Over 300,000 of the dinner
time items were used by the
various house groups in the
making of their displays. Orig-
inally 250,000 napkins were
ordered but an overwhelming
demand for them forced Mich-
igras officials to send for an
additional 50,000.
The napkins are serving a
variety of uses, ranging from
substitutes for roses and Arb
grass to birthday cakes.
L u m b e r, a construction
standby, also was given special
emphasis by campus organiza-
tions as they used more than
two miles of the woodstuff to
finish their entries.

The newly-established Wendy
Owen Blood Research Fund, the
Union and the projected women's
swimming pool have been named
to benefit frpm this year's Michi-
Jack Hamer, '52, general co-
chairman announced that the ex-
pected receipts from the carnival
will be split among the three
groups half going to the Women's
Athletic Association for the pool
and the other half going to the
Union. Part of the Union share
will be given to the Wendy Owen
Fund, and the rest will go towards
the University Fresh Air Camp.
The Wendy Owen Fund was set

Carnival Will Aid Pool
Union, Blood Research

up after the death of a campus
favorite this summer, and is also
being supported by Generation,
Gargoyle, Chi Omega, Wyvern,
Mortarboard and The Daily, which
donated money from its J-Hop
issue to the fund.
The money comes from the total
intake of admission and concession
tickets sold for the two nights of
Michigras. Tickets may be pur-
chased at the Field House at 7
p.m. The show runs from 7:30 p.m.
until 1 a,m, on both nights.

Diag Stunt
An unusual incident of the 196
Michigras occurred on the diag
when demonstrators protesting
Lecture Committee -ruling which
banned Communists from speak
ing on campus tried to interrupt a
Michigras publicity stunt.
The stunt featured a wild man
chased by bloodhounds. The two
groups clashed on the diag with
wild man and his hounds finall:
winning the day from the placard
carrying demonstrators after a
spirited melee.

-Daily-Alan Reid
LATEST-Dick Pinkerton, '55, gives the barkers announcement in
Michigras latest wrinkle, a television show of several booths set
up and operating from Barbour Gymnasium.

_- --- __.




I1 I

- S
PENNANTS - 20c and up
ASH TRAYS -- $1.00
Set of Eight - $3.00

Paganism revival. The daughter
of King Tut, a dancing mummy,
also made an appearance, execut-
ing an alluring 'sheet' dance.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon came up
with an interesting note when
they operated a booth one year
"For Men Only." Women were
denied the privilege of the great
mystery concealed within. It was
heralded as "the thing that will
show the men what the small
things mean in life." -(?)
Mimes, dramatic honorary, pre-
sented a circus complete with
barebackariders, tight-rope walk-
ers and a museum of ,freaks, at a
later Michigras.
MOTORCYCLE races in a mot-'
ordrome set up for the occasion
were the thrill points of a Michi-
gras that also witnessed the ap-
pearance of Miss Barbara Lamarr
of Hollywood fame as special guest.
The "Union County Clarion,"
official newspaper of the fair,
was a scandal sheet exposing
professors and co-eds to ridicule,
providing publicity for the fair
while it poked fun.
The carnival grew in size as the
years went by, and by 1939 more

than 50 floats were entered in the
traditional parade. Theme of the
Michigras was "The World of To-
day and Tomorrow," a satirical
take-off on the New York World's
Fair and the San Francisco Gold-
en Gate Exposition.
* * *
AN INTERESTING development
during the advertising campaign
and pre-carnival publicity was the
filing of a suit in Ann Arbor court
against the World's Fair and Ex-
position on the grounds of "un-
fair competition." An injunction
was requested from the court that
would prohibit the performance of
those two, events on the two nights
of Michigras.
Despite the competition, more
than 4,000 persons attended the
opening night, and the carnival
approached the proportions that
eventually made it advisable to
hold it bianually.
Operations were suspended dur-
ing the war, but resumed in full
force in 1947 when the first of
now-traditional 'apple polishing'
booths was opened. Alexander
Ruthven, then president of the
University, was among those pol-
ishing and selling the apples.

1 lA ~
0 O-V
b dam,


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