UC Irvine pride will be on full display Saturday, April 21, when the campus welcomes thousands of visitors to its annual open house. The 34th Celebrate UCI event will feature the return of longtime favorites — including a kiddie carnival, the Car Show on the Green and the Wayzgoose festival — as well as new Earth-friendly activities.

In a break with history, Wayzgoose, the university’s oldest tradition, has retired its medieval theme and replaced it with a focus on zero waste to reflect the commitment of today’s students to saving the planet.

“We’re taking it in the direction of celebrating the UCI spirit of wellness and going green,” says Jun Wang, vice president of student services for the Associated Students of UCI, which organizes the festival. “Promoting sustainability has always been part of Wayzgoose. We just wanted to be supportive of The Green Initiative Fund, which subsidizes student-led conservation projects.”

Among the festival’s green efforts: a solar-powered stage; a ban on plastic-foam food or drink containers; a water bottle refilling station; a contest for the best sustainability displays by campus organizations; and the goal of recycling all trash.

“At homecoming, 80 to 85 percent of waste ended up in recycling bins. At Wayzgoose, we’ll try for 100 percent,” Wang says.

UCI groups have been encouraged to use biodegradable and recyclable materials for their booths. “They’ll do things like decorate with used foil, create cool origami items out of old wrappers and chip bags, and make tables from used cans and bottles,” he says.

For the first time, Wayzgoose will be sponsored by UC Irvine Health and will feature games, prizes and raffles that promote wellness.

Other Celebrate UCI highlights include:

  • Yoga in the Park: Everyone’s invited to a free yoga session in Aldrich Park at 9 a.m., one hour before the official start of Celebrate UCI.
  • Car Show on the Green: The UCI Police Department will sponsor its 14th annual event for classic, antique, kit and muscle cars.
  • Campus tours: Many offices and services will be open or available during Celebrate UCI, including Admissions and Financial Aid & Scholarships. Schools will provide tours and information sessions throughout the day. For instance, visitors can tour the UCI School of Law between 2 and 3 p.m. They also can take a shuttle tour of the campus. Here’s a listing of open house events.
  • Free Family Day at the Beall Center: The Claire Trevor School of the Arts invites families and children of all ages to participate in hands-on art and science activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Beall Center for Art + Technology, 712 Arts Plaza. The event offers a kid-friendly introduction to media art relating to the Beall Center’s current exhibit, “Morphonano.”

Celebrate UCI will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and parking is complimentary. For more information and the day’s schedule, visit the event website.