Bethel’s 41st Fall Festival, Oct. 6-9, will include a number of “fun and funky” features as the college approaches its 125th anniversary in 2012.
The festival again kicks off with Taste of Newton downtown. This is the 25th year that the college and the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce have collaborated on the well-attended event, evidence of the good relationship between Bethel and the community.
One of the fun and funky features will be the “Awesome 150: Museum Friends Share Their Favorites” display at Kauffman museum. Already installed, it celebrates the Kansas sesquicentennial and the Kauffman Museum collection with 150 artifacts and specimens usually kept behind-the-scenes at the museum. The exhibition will run through Fall Festival.
Another special display, “Fun and funky Thresher stuff,” will feature commemorative and collectible items (pennants, plates, cups, pins, toys, paperweights, plaques, clothing, etc.) that honor Bethel with text, shape or image. Alumni are invited to loan their unusual memorabilia for display. Exhibitors are especially interested in what might be described as “kitschy” items. Contact exhibit host Sondra Koontz, vice president for advancement, at 316-284-5341 or via e-mail no later than Friday, Sept. 23.
Visitors will also be able to view a downsized version of the Bethel display created for the Mennonite Church USA convention in Pittsburgh in July (see previous story). Complete with bean bag chairs and photos of students engaged in various activities during the school year, the booth focused on students having fun at Bethel.
Also following the theme, this year’s stage production is the classic British comedy “Charley’s Aunt,” by Brandon Thomas. The family-friendly farce takes place in Oxford, England, in 1890, where three male students create a tangle of confusion, with one of them dressed as Charley’s Aunt Donna Lucia from Brazil.
For decades Bethel students have used their intellect and creativity to pull off pranks on campus. A program titled “Thank you, Herman Bubbert: Bethel pranks throughout the years” will give alumni the opportunity to see photos of pranks, share their own memories of such endeavors, and confess their own involvement.
As creation of the new Academic Center progresses, the Bethel College Women’s Association will offer more scientific collectibles from the old Science Hall. Antique bottles, beakers, test tubes, slides and evaporation dishes will be among the items available by donation.
For “Harry Potter” fans, the Bethel Quidditch club invites everyone to a morning match of Muggle Quidditch, a game based on the fictional version of the challenge made famous in the series of books by J. K. Rowling. Fall Festival goers of all ages may join in the fun or just watch. No previous experience is required.
Children can enjoy story time Saturday as the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA celebrates 75 years of providing resources to regional congregations. For decades, a weekly preschool story hour enriched hundreds of children’s lives. Adults as well as children are invited to hear old-time favorites while seated on blankets under trees on the Green.
Fall Festival weekend will also include an array of other activities.