Every year, during the fall semester, Hope College Student Activities Committee hosts an autumn-themed party to give students a chance to relax— aptly named “Fall Fest.” This year, Fall Fest was supposed to take place at Post Family Farms on October 8, but due to rain and flooding, the event was moved inside to the Great Room of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center (BSC). This event has been held for many years, but, while Fall Fest 2020 was the day before Halloween and was able to be held outside, Fall Fest 2019, held the second week of October, was also rained out and moved to the BSC. The rain also meant that the traditional corn maze, bonfire and hayrides would not be taking place this year, but despite the rain and change of location, plenty of students showed up and had a great time.
Students were able to enjoy the many different events, activities and games planned for the event despite the change of location. When heading toward the BSC, right outside of the Kletz Market, the first opportunity for students was a photo booth. The backdrop consisted of autumn-colored flannel squares, and props were included such as leaves, glasses, and autumn-themed sayings. As you continued to walk toward the BSC, there were two games of orange and blue Hope College Cornhole set up, which proved popular and created a bit of traffic for entering and exiting the BSC.
Once inside the BSC, there were three tables with small pumpkins and paint, so that everyone could paint their own pumpkins. If a student wanted to, they could set their painted pumpkin on a separate table to the right of the stage to enter the Pumpkin Decorating Competition, or they could just take their pumpkin back home. There were also many people with different colored Glow Sticks, such as the classic Halloween colors of orange and purple, circling around Fall Fest.
Toward the back of the Great Room there was also a pieing station. It had two black sheets, one on the floor and another on the wall. There were two chairs on the sheet and a table with whipped cream and pie holders to the side. This way you were able to load up a pie tin with whipped cream and throw it in a friend’s face without a huge mess. In the opposite back corner, there was a game of Giant Jenga being played, so every so often there would be a loud clatter indicating that the tower had fallen over and the game had ended.
Another table to the right of the stage was full of prepackaged s’mores, graham crackers, chocolate, and a marshmallow all in Ziploc bags. Although there was no fire to toast them, students could bring them back to their dorms and microwave or heat them for a warm, tasty treat later on. Despite not being able to have toasted marshmallows, there were plenty of prepared fall snacks on the left side of the stage. The classic fall treats of pumpkin donuts and apple cider were served, and although there was not the common festival tradition of kettle corn, white cheddar popcorn was offered.
The main event of Fall Fest was definitely the Hip Hop team, known as Hip Hop Anonymous (HHA), who performed at 9:00 p.m. HHA performed to the classic spooky season song “Thriller” by Micheal Jackson, and the crowd was able to match the heightened energy that the group brought. The audience was in a semi-circle around the team cheering, clapping, and singing along. Everyone was involved and excited when Hip Hop Anonymous announced that there would be an interactive element, as the audience found out that they would be taught the “Thriller” dance that HHA had just performed. The crowd rushed onto the floor and began to attentively listen and learn the dance.
Claire Knodel ’25, a dance major and Hip Hop Anonymous member, gave her opinion on the performance ofHHA and Fall Fest overall. She stated that “I attended Fall Fest and got the joy of being able to perform and teach our piece to ‘Thriller’ for Hip Hop Anonymous. It was so much fun to get to dance for everyone and see their excitement about watching and also learning! I loved the fun energy in the room as students cheered each other on. The smiles were so bright and it seemed like people had a great time! It was also fun to drink apple cider and then tear up the dance floor with free dancing to songs like ‘Cotton Eye Joe,’ ‘Cupid Shuffle,’ ‘Cha-Cha Slide,’ and ‘The Wobble.’ There was a great turnout and I loved dancing with everyone. Overall, Fall Fest was so much fun!”
If you missed out on Fall Fest or are looking for similar events, check out events run by the Student Activities Committee (SAC) on Hope College’s website through the calendar tab. You can also follow SAC on Instagram under the username @hopecollegesac for updates on upcoming events. If you have any questions you can contact SAC through their email: firstname.lastname@example.org. A weekly SAC event is Coffeehouse, which features student performers and creates a relaxed environment to complete homework while engaging in great entertainment. Coffeehouse is held every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. in the BSC. Another unique SAC event, called SAC Nerdology, will be held November 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the BSC