The ultimate guide to winning Caltopia

Come Sunday and Monday, students will engage in this for the 11th time:


So, everyone, get ready. Caltopia, UC Berkeley’s festive two-day inaugural event, introduces the best of UC Berkeley, businesses and nonprofits from the Bay Area and beyond to crowds estimated to reach 30,000. Trust us: This isn’t a party you want to get lost in. Almost everything is given away for free, and everyone is invited. Some events are time-specific; others last throughout. We at The Daily Clog have composed a handy guide to navigate the Golden Bears’ annual rite of passage.

Sunday, 1o a.m. — RSF doors open.


Let the fun begin!

In the atrium, make your way to the Beauty Zone to get a free…


haircut (including professional styling and hair chalking),


massage and aromatherapy


and a makeover featuring a mini-manicure, brow-waxing and designer cosmetics.

11 a.m. — Head outside to Spieker Plaza for an international feast.


Pictured here in San Francisco, Off the Grid makes its first UC Berkeley appearance by bringing the food truck revolution to our backyard. Take a bite out of…


a mean bowl of ramen,


a delicious Peruvian pan con chicharron


and, for the adventurous, an East-meets-South take on tacos.


Try this chocolate-dipped ice cream taco. (In supply until we Cloggers deplete the inventory entirely.)

1 p.m. — To recover from your food coma, participate in events or watch feats of physical prowess brought by event host Cal Rec Sports.

In the back patio,


take part in an archery demonstration


or channel your inner boxer.

Return to the Atrium to see


competitive ballroom dancers


or watch flying swordsmen,


and be sure to catch the perfect karate chop for pesky cement blocks … lit on fire.

4 p.m. — Doors close.

Exhale. Sunday Caltopia is over, but the festival has only just begun. Spend the afternoon with friends and trade the day’s best memories (aka the best free deals). Then, brace yourselves for quite possibly the only Monday you will ever look forward to in your life.

Monday, 1o a.m. — RSF doors open.


Nimbly maneuver to the Field House in the back of the RSF, past the atrium.


Forgot to put on a shirt? More than 2,000 free T-shirts are being distributed throughout the event. And keep your eyes open for Gold Man. In Caltopia’s version of Where’s Waldo, “Gold Man” runs around the RSF. Locating the mysterious individual will score you a  rare “Keep Calm and Stay Golden” tank top.


Almost 100 exhibitors will give away everything, from flips flops to laptops. You can easily amass a lifetime supply of pens, notebooks and erasers, so stock up. Also, find as many pint-sized reasons to indulge in Ben and Jerry’s ice cream as you possibly can.

Noon — Return to the back patio for the noon rally.


Watch live performances from solo artists, student bands, a cappella groups


and the legendary Cal Band.

2 p.m. — Try riding the mechanical bull.


Or watch a “Lion Dance.”


Fall in love!


This couple first met at Caltopia, and now they are married.

Don’t forget to dance like a pirate.


It’s necessary.

4 p.m. — Doors close.

UC Berkeley is an adventure. Caltopia is the first step. Make it count.

Arya Aliabadi contributed to this story.

Image source: Cal Rec Sports, Niall Kennedy, Violet Blue, Entitee, Gary Stevens, Wynlok under Creative Commons.

Contact Alex Mabanta and Arya Aliabadi at [email protected]