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Midsummers by the numbers

Last weekend, students descended on the University of Virginia for an annual, and unofficial, celebration. Bookended between summer academic sessions, what’s known as Midsummers has become a cornerstone of the UVa social scene — as much as the Foxfield Races in the spring and the Wertland Street Block Party in the fall.

Throwing a good party, though, takes a lot of preparation and Jell-O shots and Bodo’s bagels. That’s to say nothing of cleanup after you and a few thousand friends set up a makeshift Slip ‘N Slide in Madison Bowl or fill the nooks and crannies of a fraternity house with foam.

In the week after Midsummers, The Daily Progress spoke with students, school officials and local businesses about just how much it took to pull off Midsummers this year.

These are the findings.


That’s how many Jell-O shots brothers at Delta Upsilon prepared ahead of the weekend festivities. The fraternity held a party Saturday afternoon on the front lawn of its primary residence near Grounds, complete with live music and a foam machine, where brothers standing on the roof of their shed tossed out more than a thousand Jell-O shots to a waiting crowd below. Based on brothers’ estimates of attendance, that averages out to about two to three Jell-O shots per person, brother Justin Carroll told The Daily Progress.


That was the average temperature high over the weekend. It was hot and it was humid, but that didn’t stop the hundreds of students from packing onto fraternity houses’ front lawns, where foam machines and inflatable water slides were little relief. The rain came later Saturday afternoon, something students told The Daily Progress they were “psyched for.”

There were absolutely no employees from University of Virginia Facilities Management involved in the cleanup of the cups, broken glass bottles and empty plastic jugs littered on Madison Bowl in the aftermath of Midsummers. According to Mark Stannis, director of UVa Facilities, the department had “nothing to do with it.” Instead, security cameras around Grounds showed 20 to 30 students with trash bags, cleaning the field Saturday evening.

“I think our cleaning effort was prevalent, encouraged by ourselves, other students, the school, and our alumni board holding us accountable,” Delta Upsilon’s Carroll said of his fraternity and others.

That’s how many individuals were transported to the emergency room at UVa Medical Center over the weekend. Friday and Saturday evening each saw two “sick people needing attention,” according to university spokesman Brian Coy.


Bodo’s Bagels is a go-to on most weekends for students and locals alike. The University Avenue location on the Corner produced roughly 3,500 bagels over Midsummers weekend, according to co-owner Scott Smith. The Corner Bodo’s was packed over the weekend with student’s fueling up for the festivities, or recovering the day afterward. With roughly 1,150 orders on Sunday, business was similar to a normal weekend during the school year, Smith added.

Noise complaints? They were none, according to the UVa Police Department.


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