With a splash of blue and gold, UC Berkeley kicks off its annual Big Game Week on Monday, Nov. 16, drumming up Cal spirit for the much-anticipated face-off between the Golden Bears and rival football team, the Stanford Cardinal, on Saturday, Nov. 21.
The UC Rally Committee has organized a week of events, from a cable car rally through downtown San Francisco to a sing off between the two campus’s a cappella groups. The week ends with a bang — a fireworks show at Edwards Stadium, in place of the traditional bonfire, which was deemed a fire hazard during the current drought.
Spirited decorations will be in evidence all over campus — Sather Gate, Doe Library and the Campanile will be aglow with Cal’s signature colors — and other prominent buildings will be decked out with Cal banners, designs and paintings.
Here’s a sneak peak at the 2015 Big Game Week events:
- Monday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to noon, Ghirardelli Square: Cable car rally — The Cal spirit groups and marching band will take over a cable car line in San Francisco. Rally committee members will hold the Cal banner outside one of the cars to cheering alumni and fans. The rally begins at 10 a.m. at Ghirardelli Square, where the band will play, and ends around noon at Union Square, where the dance and cheer teams, rally committee and Oski will pump up the crowd while the Cal Band plays another set. For those who miss the first performance, the Cal Band will be performing again at Pier 39 at 1 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 17, to Thursday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sproul Plaza: Get the red out — Bring an article of red clothing and two cans of food to Sproul Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in exchange for a Cal t-shirt for Saturday’s Big Game against Stanford. Clothes will be donated to Goodwill, and food will go to a local food bank.
- Wednesday, Nov. 18, noon, Sproul Plaza: Tree chopping rally — Join the Cal Logging Sports Team on Sproul Plaza a little after noon to watch axe throwing, chain sawing and chopping techniques used to fell trees, symbolizing Cal’s triumph over Stanford’s band mascot, the Stanford Tree. Oski will be there, too, along with the dance team, cheerleaders and the Cal Band.
- Wednesday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fairmont Hotel (San Francisco): 66th Annual Guardsmen Big Game Luncheon — Celebrate the storied rivalry at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco by raising money to benefit at-risk youth in the Bay Area.
- Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., Sather Gate: The Big Sing — A cappella groups from Berkeley and Stanford will battle it out in song. The UC Men’s and Women’s Chorale will be there, along with UC men’s octet, the California Golden Overtones and Noteworthy.
- Thursday, Nov. 19, all day: Big Give — Berkeley is putting on its second annual Big Give, a 24-hour fundraising blitz that helps the campus reach higher and dream bigger, and stay the nation’s No. 1 public university.
- Thursday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m., Stern Hall (on campus): Night Rally — The Cal spirit groups will lead a parade through the Berkeley campus that starts at Stern Hall at 8 p.m. and ends at units 1, 2 and 3, where the groups will belt out cheers, chants, songs all while waving the Cal flag.
- Friday, Nov. 20, doors open at 6:30 p.m., Edwards Stadium: Big Game Rally — Although the venue for the Big Game Rally has moved from the Greek Theatre to Edwards Stadium, the show will be no less of a spectacle. Student and alumni performers will take the crowd through the history of the campus with stories and comedy acts, and fireworks will dazzle the night sky.
- Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m., Stanford Stadium: The Big Game — One of the major highlights of every PAC 12 season, the Big Game — the Cal Golden Bears v. Stanford Cardinal — will go down at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, where Cal fans can bring their school spirit and cheer on their favorite football team. Tickets are available online.
Monday, Nov. 21, noon, Sproul Plaza: Axe Rally — If Cal wins the Big Game (for the first time in six years), the chair of the UC Rally Committee will present the axe — a plaque with an axe mounted on it that shows all the Big Game scores — for students to see.