Although the temperatures reached 80 degrees on the day of the Student Activities Committee’s annual Fall Fest event, it was still a successful night to celebrate the beginning of the fall season. Apple cider, donuts, hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin painting, bonfires, and all things Fall could be found at the Post Family Farm on Friday, Sep. 22. Catherine Rodrigues (’27) was one of the Hope students enjoying the celebration of the changing season.
“I am a big lover of fall,” Rodrigues said. “Even though it was 80 degrees, I felt like it was a good experience to get off campus and try something new. Coming from the East Coast, it was like a little taste of home for me, so I really appreciated that.”
Rodrigues’ experience began with grabbing some apple cider and donuts, before heading over to the woods to enjoy the fire pits. “My favorite part of the night was the little woodsy, campfire moment with the s’mores and the hot dogs.” She especially liked walking through the forest on the dirt path that led to the bonfires. “I thought that was so fun and clever,” Rodrigues said.
She ended the night with an authentic tractor hayride, which made a pit stop at the corn maze halfway through. “The corn maze at night was a little scary,” Rodrigues admits, but she still enjoyed the experience, and says it was a “ten out of ten.”
Although she did not get to ride the hayride or walk through the corn maze, as a Core Member of SAC, Lucy Neville (’26) got to view firsthand the positive impact that Fall Fest tradition has on the Hope College community. “SAC puts on Fall Fest because this is a big event that creates community within our school,” Neville said. “This is an important event for our school and it brings a lot of people together. It is also toward the beginning of the year so this helps students get out of their comfort zone and meet new people.”
One of SAC’s objectives for this year’s Fall Fest was to make it even better than last year, according to Neville. “One of our goals was to make Fall Fest more accessible to all of the students at Hope College,” Neville said. “We also created signs to direct students once they got to the farm, we helped set up, clean up, and worked different shifts throughout the night.”
Their hard work does not go unnoticed by Rodrigues, who appreciates everything SAC did to make Fall Fest a hit. “I really feel like SAC went above and beyond with this,” Rodrigues said. “I just want to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who were there throughout the entire night.” After enjoying the many activities that SAC made possible, Rodrigues felt very appreciative of the committee’s dedication that she witnessed throughout the entire night. “It was hours of countless work making sure that there were logs in every fire, or making sure that people were lining up correctly, or in the right spot for the hayride and just providing a lot of different activities.”
SAC members put in hours of work to make this night what it was, and despite all of the extensive planning and manual labor, Neville remained positive-minded. At the end of the day, she stated, “…it was amazing to see all the students who came to Fall Fest and had such a wonderful time. It feels so incredible to have a positive impact on the Hope College community.”
Photo credit: Nico Kazlauskas