Cyborgs don’t feel pain, but they do love pizza.
If you don’t have time to “get to the choppa,” you can still make it to Arnold Day XI, Central Florida’s 11th annual event where hundreds of fans come together to celebrate the birthday of Hollywood’s favorite movie star turned governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Arnold Day will take place Saturday from noon to 2 a.m. at Lazy Moon on University Boulevard, and just like last year, there is hope that Schwarzenegger himself will come to join the festivities — hopefully fully clothed.
The event used to just be all about nostalgia for creator Ryan Boylston, the 2005 UCF grad who started Arnold Day with his friend Vinnie Gulisano a little more than a decade ago. He and Gulisano decided to celebrate Schwarzenegger’s birthday with some pizza and beer, so they went to Lazy Moon for their movie marathon.
As the day wore on, more and more people stopped by to ask what was going on and whether they could sit down and watch, too. What started as a trip down memory lane for two friends quickly turned into a celebration that not even a 12-gauge auto-loader could stop.
Now, the festivities include more than 1,200 people who visit throughout the day, as well as homemade T-shirts, balloons, a birthday cake and fans dressed like the movie star’s most memorable characters. Lazy Moon also adds Schwarzenegger-inspired pizzas and Austrian beers to its menu in honor of the celebration.
For the second year in a row, Boylston and his team have reached out to invite Schwarzenegger to appear in person at the event. Last year, he was unable to attend because he was busy filming his recently released film Terminator Genisys. This year, Boylston said they’ll just have to wait and see if the action hero will surprise them with his attendance.
And if he does, the event will raise money for charity.
Fans can pledge amounts from $5 to $3,000 in exchange for Arnold Day merchandise on the event’s website to go toward the CJ Foundation for Children In Need, a nonprofit organization that helps children and families with a focus on autism, cancer and education. With a fundraising goal of $20,000, Arnold Day has already raised $7,000, which will be used to provide scholarships to children in need, according to the event’s website.
But if Schwarzenegger can’t make it, organizers will have to say “hasta la vista, baby” to the cash.
For many Arnold Day fans, however, the day isn’t about meeting the king of one-liners. It’s a chance for them to reunite with old friends and carry on a tradition they started years ago.
“It’s not my event anymore; it’s everyone’s event,” Boylston said. “I keep it going because there are 1,200 people where it’s part of a tradition for them.”
Deanna Ferrante is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.