Crimson Nights Returns with Festivities and Free Food


Jose Alex Garcia

(Graphic by Jose Alex Garcia | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Haley Utendorfer, News Writer


After almost a year and a half of Zoom events, the Union Programming Council welcomed back Crimson Nights to the A. Ray Olpin Union, along with a crowd of approximately 3,000 University of Utah students who attended on Aug. 27. Provided with entertainment, music, free food and opportunities to get involved on the U’s campus, students filled the space in front of the Union with a laughing, cheering mass.

Planning started back in May and continued over the summer to ensure a successful event. Crimson Nights director Kyra Hirasuna, a senior at the U, combined her efforts with the knowledge and expertise of four other assistant directors, Clista Galecki, Marcela Morales, Sadie Ortiz and Sally Tran, to generate ideas for the event. Each individual specialized in a section such as recruiting volunteers, damage control and orchestrating decorations. 

“We had over 2000 people within the first two hours, which is wild … Virtual was more difficult,” Hirasuna said. “Yeah, we still found ways to reach a lot of people, like we still had like 400 people at our first Crimson Nights [last year]. That’s really impressive, which I was not expecting with it being virtual.”

Due to COVID-19 and the evolving pandemic, only U students were allowed to attend, for contact tracing precautions.

“After not doing something like this for so long, having an in-person event again felt like something I’d have to get used to again,” said sophomore Nadine Bahati. “I did feel kind of skeptical about coming out to a big event where I didn’t know who was and wasn’t vaccinated. But overall, it was a great time.” 

The UPC welcomed a new DJ to the event named Ricky Barrera. He had played every school in Utah except the U, so Hirasuna decided it was time to send him an invite.

Combined with free hot dogs from J. Dawgs, a foam pit, an inflatable obstacle course and San Diablo Churros, the UPC had a lot on its hands. 

“The whole time I was running around, I didn’t really get to enjoy the event, because I was making sure everything else was okay,” Hirasuna said. “So the last 15 minutes our whole organization was just dancing on the stage, with the DJ who was amazing so I think that was my favorite part, just getting to enjoy the last 10 minutes.”  

The UPC is now going to start planning for the next Crimson Night, which will be held soon, on April 1.


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