Durango Days—where to find the food


James Knowles

Durango, the eponymous bull, might prefer the many vegan alternatives over Thursday’s barbecue. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications

Durango Days—UNO’s days-long, semester-opening tradition of events and festivities—is now in full swing. There are many interesting things to do and see, sure, as opportunities for career, networking and learning are always helpful. That being said, the most appealing part to UNO’s starving students has been and always will be the food. There are many opportunities to score a bite or three for free—even when one has to pay, the food available is usually worth it.

To that end, students have had to either sift through the packed Durango Days itinerary or simply stumble into a meal for far too long. This guide filters through that information and gives you what you need all in one spot.

The semester’s first taste of free food will coincide with the first day of classes. From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., snacks and fresh fruit will be available outside of the Community Engagement Center (the building directly south of the bell tower), courtesy of the organized meet and greet with dozens of non-profit and UNO-based groups.

From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Kona Ice and other forms of ice cream will be at the Hayden House lawn (Dodge campus, west of the Weber Fine Arts Building and south of Durham Science Center,) along with lawn games, music and a photo booth.

On Tuesday, the first 1,200 students to reach the Milo Bail Student Center plaza between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. will earn an entire free meal—a Sloppy Joe (branded the “MavWICH”) with pretzels, a banana and a drink. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options will be provided.

At 8:30 p.m., a local taco truck will be outside Maverick Landing on Scott Campus. Thirty minutes later, there will be a screening of an Oscar-winning film and member of the National Film Registry: Shrek (2001).

On Wednesday, 1,200 students can once again find a free lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., this time at the H&K building’s plaza. The meal will consist of a hot dog, popcorn, apple, and drink, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options once again available.

From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., students can enjoy a free beverage at the meet-and-greet with Chancellor Joanne Li at Criss Library.

From 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the John Paul II Newman Center (in Aksarben Village on the corner of Pacific and 72nd streets—1221 S 71st St, to be exact) will be hosting a barbecue, entirely free to students. If human interaction is your thing, there will be plenty of opportunities to socialize with fellow students over games and general festivities.

Durango Days’ final culinary opportunity will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. Free food will be provided (and once again include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options) alongside music, games prizes and a photo booth—all a part of the Office of Student Life’s “Re-Introduction to the Milo Bail Student Center.”