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NEWS RELEASE

11/12/96

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558


Bonfire set for Wilbur

STANFORD -- This year's Big Game bonfire probably won't hold a candle to the Lake Lagunita rallies of old, but organizers are hoping that its new location will at least attract a larger crowd. Wilbur Field, the area near the basketball courts between Stern and Wilbur halls, has been proposed as the new site for the Nov. 21 blaze, which will require 15 wood pallets instead of the hundreds that were used for Lagunita fires.

"The focus is on the rally itself, not on the fire," said Jeremy Schreiber, chair of the Axe Committee. Schreiber said that in recent years the event, held at Arrillaga Plaza, was so far from the center of campus that only 700 students showed up. "We want to get some more people there; get some more people excited for Big Game," he said. The rally will begin after 10 p.m., following the evening's performance of the Big Game Gaieties.

Members of the Axe Committee, which is the current keeper of the trophy awarded to the winner of the Cardinal/California Bears face-off, hope Wilbur will be a temporary venue and that revelers can return to the lake next year for the game's 100th anniversary.

The traditional Lagunita blaze was suspended in 1993 after concerns were raised about its harmful effects on the lake's rare tiger salamander population. Although researchers have completed a biological study of that population, they are currently looking at the feasibility of returning the bonfire there without compromising the amphibians' habitat.

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