Massive UCLA Gathering in Vegas Draws Police Presence
This weekend, as happens every Memorial Day weekend, more than 1,000 UCLA students descended upon Las Vegas for three days of drinking and partying, before the final weeks of the school year.
The Strip was crammed with Bruins, many of them holding Fat Tuesdays - giant, slushie mixed drinks.
The weekend's main event happened Saturday afternoon, when hundreds upon hundreds of Bruins gathered at the fountain in front of the Bellagio for an odd tradition: The performance of a fight chant called the 8 Clap.
The cops weren't having it.
The 8 Clap is a beloved UCLA tradition. The first thing freshmen learn upon arrival is how to do the chant, which is most famously performed at Bruin football and basketball games.
U-C-L-A! Fight! Fight! Fight!
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There's also choreography involved - fist pumps.
More than just for sports, it's the ultimate celebration of Bruin pride, and often spontaneously performed whenever more than a few UCLA types are present. (It certainly doesn't hurt if they've been drinking.)
No one's quite sure when the holiday weekend Sin City festivities began, but in 2008 the UCLA Yell Crew (who head spirit chants at games) began officially leading it. The goal? To celebrate "life, friendship, and Bruin debauchery," according to the event's Facebook page.
This year, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, the massive crowd began chanting, and the rally went on for a half-hour or more - through at least one Bellagio fountain show.
Considering how crowded the Strip is, and how limited space is in front of the high-end hotel, this wasn't going to last. Police arrived to break up the gathering, citing unlawful assembly.
The crowd peacefully dispersed, and no one appears to have been arrested. But even if someone had, you can bet on one thing - next Memorial Day weekend, the 8 Clappers will be back.
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