Spirit Splash returns to UCF -- sort of

Event will be socially distanced, rush into the pond replaced by squirt guns

Crowd at the 2019 Spirit Splash (UCF Police)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – After the pandemic forced its cancelation in 2020, the University of Central Florida is planning to bring back a beloved homecoming tradition in 2021: Spirit Splash.

UCF said this will be the first time the school has hosted Spirit Splash in the spring.

The event typically sees a large portion of the student body run headlong into the pond on the school’s campus in a show of school spirit. The tradition always brings out a large crowd, which is problematic when health experts call for social distancing.

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Because of that, the school is trying something new next week. The pond is out and the lawn is in for this second homecoming week of the academic year.

“Instead of rushing into the pond, groups of four will have their own physically distant pods on the lawn, where the splash will be brought to them via super soakers and squirt guns,” according to the school’s website.

The Spirit Splash will be broken up into two hour-long events on Friday, Feb. 26, according to UCF, with only 650 students allowed at each one. That means only 1,300 hundred students from the school’s student body of about 66,000 will be able to participate. The school is also having students make reservations to take part in the event.

Spirit Splash will come at the end of a week of outdoor and virtual events for the students to take part in, including a movie night, comedy night and an outdoor concert, which will have a crowd limit of 600 students.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.