Ana Salgado | The Poly Post

Hot Dog Caper brings the ‘90s back to Cal Poly Pomona

By Emily Montano and Daniel Tapia, Oct. 25, 2022

On Oct. 20, after a two-year hiatus, the 39th annual Hot Dog Caper hosted by the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation took students back in time to what could be described as the most exciting decade in history — the ’90s. This event has been a yearly tradition since 1983 to welcome Broncos back to campus with free lunch and entertainment.

Unsure if the Hot Dog Caper would return this year, CPP President Soraya M. Coley, expressed her joy to see students back on campus appreciating what the school has to offer.

“I am overjoyed because I know a lot of the CPP community has been through some struggle, so to come together like this is a moment of appreciation,” said Coley. “Ultimately this helps students see each other again and focus on our motto, one team, one goal, student success.”

Darren Loo | The Poly Post

The event used to be held in August but because of the heat, CPP decided to move the event to October to keep students cool. Planning began a few months beforehand and with new improvements, many were excited to experience its return.

Julia Carney, marketing communications coordinator for CPP foundation explained the Hot Dog Caper’s startup and goal.

“Once we got campus approval our main focus was to make sure it was safe enough to come back,” said Carney. “It started as a way to give back to students with something fun to look forward to. This is the 39th year and that’s still the overall goal, giving the students a nice break and basically telling them ‘Hey, here’s a free lunch during U-Hour. We’re going to have live music, activities and giveaways so let’s have some fun.’”

All the attendees gathered in long lines waiting to be served thousands of hot dogs, and veggie dogs as an alternative option. After receiving hot dogs, chips, drinks and popsicles, attendees had the option to either hang around with friends or explore what the event had to offer.

There were stations set up all around Bronco Commons that included giveaways, balloon artists, craft soda, photo booths, horse petting and much more. However, one new station that the CPP Foundation was excited for was the 360-video booth.

“In the past we would just have one standard photo booth,” said Carney. “But this time around we’re bringing in two video booths as well because it is the new technology that is popular right now.”

Erika Smith, celebrity impersonator of Britney Spears, was pleased with the various perspectives the new video booth offered.

“The 360-video booth is awesome because you can dance and move and it’s totally a step up from the regular photo booths,” said Smith.

300 volunteers from the CPP community came together to provide entertainment and serve the 13,000 hot dogs. The majority of volunteers were alumni, faculty or staff members.

Homeyra Sadaghiani, volunteer, physics professor and board member for CPP Foundation expressed how important social interaction is and how good it felt to give back.

“The participation, the live music, the enthusiasm of all the volunteers, it just went above and beyond my expectations,” said Sadaghiani. “It feels good to see our hard work pay off with student gatherings like this because we want them to enjoy their time away from the classroom as much as possible.”

Students saw this event as not just an opportunity to grab free lunch, but to also build relationships with the Bronco community through the entertainment that the event offered. If they weren’t waiting in line booths, then they were sitting and socializing or dancing to the live music.

Yara Ghaoui, chemical engineering student, talks about events like these that help bring together the campus life when it is known to be a commuter school.

“I was honestly really surprised with how big the turnout was for this event,” said Ghaoui. “Events like this bring the social life of the school up which is good for us because although we are here to learn, making friends along the way can help out a lot just to have that support system.”

To stay up to date on CPP Foundation news and future events, the campus community can visit the CPP Foundation website.

Feature image by Ana Salgado

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