Freshmen at Cal introduced to utopia

BERKELEY, Calif. — Caltopia — the event described by sponsors as the “largest college lifestyle event in the nation” — kicks off its 10th anniversary in two weeks. What makes it so special? Kirk Robles, who works at the Cal Recreational Sports Center, said the purpose of the free event is “to give the incoming freshmen a taste of what Berkeley is actually like.”

Almost 30,000 people attend, ready to spend time with their friends and experience different opportunities offered to them at Cal.

Caltopia also offers entertainment, with live local bands spread out around the campus, along with games for the attendees. In past years, there has been a graffiti wall where students and community members could share inspirational words. This year’s schedule will be posted online Aug. 13.

Caltopia has local and national sponsors.  Former student Jordan Wilkes said, “You see stuff everywhere from vendors and student organizations, getting their names out.” Over the past few years, the Apple store, Jamba Juice, Extreme Pizza and other businesses have given away free goods.

The businesses are not the only ones giving items away. Participants are welcome to bring a gently used T-shirt and trade it in for a new Caltopia T-shirt. The shirts that are received are donated to local charities.

Caltopia will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year Aug. 19-20.  Most of the events will be taking place on Bancroft Way near the Haas Recreational Sports Building.