Gannon University’s annual Springtopia celebration will return next week with a “Carnival” theme.

Lauren Franssen, the special events co-chair for the Activities Programming Board, said the plan is to bring fun to campus for a whole week while having multiple chances to win free prizes.

Franssen, who helped plan Springtopia, said that on Sunday at caramel apple decorating, Springtopia T-shirts will be handed out. On Monday at big prize bingo, students will have the opportunity to win prizes including Amazon Kindles, an iPod Touch, Blu-ray players and giftcards from more than 20 different locations. At the end of the night, there will be a drawing to win a 32-inch flat-screen TV.

Throughout Springtopia week, students will have the opportunity to put their name into a drawing to win a Xbox and Kinect, along with the “Dance Central” game, a $100 Walmart giftcard and a $100 Visa card. The more events they attend, the better chance they have to win these prizes. Franssen said the drawing will be held on Friday.

Franssen said teamwork with her co-chair Pamela Harrington was important in creating the events for Springtopia.

“From working on Homecoming together, we formulated a better understanding of each other and what all we have to do together to get the job done,” she said. “The whole process of planning Springtopia was a group effort, from coming up with a theme for the week to finding and booking different agencies and finally getting all of the events organized.”

Franssen said she attended a few Springtopia events last year. There are events from last year that will be making a return, such as inflatables, big prize bingo, caricatures and massage-on-the-go.

Harrington said she also attended Springtopia last year and helped out at some of the events.

“Last year, it was not that emphasized in the Gannon community,” she said. “This year, it is our goal to get the word out every way possible.”

Springtopia events are designed to give students a break from their busy schedules. Franssen and Harrington said they have a few events they want to take part in.

“I am really looking forward to big prize bingo because I’m really excited about all of the prizes we were able to get,” Franssen said. “It has always been one of my favorite Springtopia events.  I am also excited for the TRON laser tag system because it allows students to take a break from their busy weeks and have fun with their friends.”

Harrington, a sophomore psychology major, said she is looking forward to inflatables and the TRON laser tag system.

“These are events that are fun, entertaining, and let college students take a break from their busy lives to relax and just be kids,” she said.

Franssen, a junior physician assistant major, said that she and Harrington cannot wait to see how their hard work has paid off.

“Our goal for this year is for Springtopia to be a week where students can take a break from the stress of classes and tests and enjoy themselves,” she said.

This article by Brenna Peters originally appeared in the April 6 edition of The Gannon Knight.