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Fall Festival

For 50 years, Bethel College has celebrated education, diverse cultural traditions, special foods, fine arts, crafts and friendship at its annual Fall Festival, held each year on an extended weekend in late September or early October. More than 5,000 people come to Newton and the Bethel campus to enjoy an array of activities.

Bethel College celebrates the 50th Fall Festival Oct. 3, 2020. Like many events this year, Fall Fest will look a little different, with the most visible change the lack of booths, vendors and entertainment on the Green. Instead, we are planning several smaller in-person and virtual events. We are still committed to being a community of Threshers.

On campus, there will be the Fall Fest football game against MidAmerica Nazarene University. Get the latest Roll On gear in Thresher Shop and cheer on the Threshers. Browse the photography exhibit, “Forthcoming,” by Bethel professor David Long in the Regier Art Gallery. Kauffman Museum will feature the exhibit “Sorting Out Race,” and don’t forget to join the Saturday morning bird walk. Other events on campus include a visit day for prospective students and multiple campus activities for our current students.

Online events include the Fall Festival production No Cross, No Crown: Covid Edition, an original play by instructor of theater Karen Robu; the alumni awards presentation; and recognition of our Golden Thresher Class of 1970. Also, visit the Bethel College Women’s Association’s Online Marketplace at www.bcwamarketonline.com to purchase crafts, jewelry, Bethel-themed items and much more.

Fall Festival 2020 Schedule

Due to constantly changing requirements to contain the spread of COVID-19, this schedule is subject to change up to and including the day of Fall Fest. Please check back often for updates.

Thursday, Oct. 1

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

“Forthcoming” – Photography by David Long

Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center

9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Kauffman Museum open – "Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations" is the special exhibit on display at Kauffman Museum during Fall Fest weekend. Museum admission is free Thursday through Sunday.

27th and Main

Friday, Oct. 2

Campus Visit Day – To request a schedule or register online, go to www.bethelks.edu/visit

Online Only

No Cross, No Crown: Covid Edition  Fall Festival theater production

Watch here (not yet available)

Online Only

“Brief History of Fall Fest”

Watch here

9 a.m.-5 p.m

“Forthcoming”  Photography by David Long

6-8 p.m.

Exhibit reception

Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center

9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Kauffman Museum open – "Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations" is the special exhibit on display at Kauffman Museum during Fall Festival weekend. Museum admission is free Thursday through Sunday.

27th and Main

7-9 p.m.

Athletic Booster Club and Hall of Fame Banquet (Trisha Clark Terada ’01 and Frank Flores ’03) – Ticket required; purchase here.

Wild Prairie Event Center

Saturday, Oct. 3

Online Only

“Milestone Reunion” video

Watch here

7:30-8:30 a.m.  

Kauffman Museum monthly bird walk – Local birding experts will lead a one-hour, 1.5-mile walk along Bethel’s Sand Creek Trail, looking and listening for birds. Meet near the display in the museum parking lot. Trail terrain is uneven.

27th and Main

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

“Forthcoming”  Photography by David Long

Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center

9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thresher Shop open – Thresher Shop will be open during the day Saturday and will have a stand at the football game from 6 p.m. until halftime.

Schultz Student Center

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kauffman Museum open – "Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations" is the special exhibit on display at Kauffman Museum during Fall Festival weekend. Museum admission is free Thursday through Sunday.

27th and Main

2-3 p.m.

Tennis reunion

Ward Tennis Complex

5-6 p.m.

Reunion of former BC cheerleaders

East of Thresher Stadium parking lot

6 p.m.

Fall Fest football game – Bethel vs. MidAmerica Nazarene

Joe W. Goering Field, Thresher Stadium

Sunday, October 4

Online Only

Golden Thresher Recognition and Alumni Awards Presentation (Doris Bartel ’84 and Barry Hieb ’66)

Watch here

Online Only

Fall Festival Worship Service

Watch here (not yet available)

1:30-4:30 p.m.

Kauffman Museum open – "Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations" is the special exhibit on display at Kauffman Museum during Fall Festival weekend. Museum admission is free Thursday through Sunday.

27th and Main

2-4 p.m.

“Forthcoming”  Photography by David Long

Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center

Monday, Oct. 5

Online Only

Young Alumnus Award Presentation and Convocation (Todd Flory ’04)

Watch here

Class reunions

Every 5 years, starting with the 10th reunion and ending with the 45th, classes gather for fellowship and refreshments at Fall Festival. (50th reunions and beyond celebrate during our Alumni Heritage Weekend.) Download the brochure above for more information.

Members of reunion classes are welcome to fill out a Personal Information Form to be shared with your classmates. Responses will be printed and available in a binder at the reunion for guests to read. An electronic copy will be made available after the reunion – to request one, please e-mail blichti@bethelks.edu

Click here to fill out a Personal Information Form.

Upcoming dates for the annual Fall Festival fair on campus are:

  • Oct. 2, 2021 (proposed)
  • Oct. 8, 2022 (proposed)

The dates are determined by the first home football game in October, as scheduled by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

All events take place on the Bethel College campus in North Newton unless otherwise noted.

Whether or not you’re acquainted with Bethel, you’re invited to make yourself at home on our campus, greet old friends and make new ones, sample new foods, listen to new sounds and enjoy Bethel tradition at Fall Festival. For more information, contact the alumni office, which coordinates Fall Festival.

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Bethel College would like to thank these 2019 Fall Festival and Taste of Newton sponsors:

  • City of North Newton, proud sponsor of entertainment on the Prairie Sky Stage.
  • Everence, proud sponsor of performances on the Taste of Newton stage.
  • City of Newton
  • Newton Area Chamber of Commerce

Maroon Level Sponsors - $250 to $500

  • Adrian & Pankratz, PA
  • The Breadbasket
  • Edward Jones - Jeffrey Graber
  • Hesston Decorating Center
  • Newton Medical Center

Gray Level Sponsors - $100 to $249

  • Central Kansas Community Foundation
  • First Bank of Newton
  • Goossen Law Office
  • Living Rooms by Gayle
  • Midland National Bank

Each year, Bethel appreciates the support of Fall Festival and Taste of Newton sponsors, hosts, performers and exhibitors. Donations from sponsors support Fall Festival on campus and also go toward Bethel’s share of expenses as it cooperates with the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce to put on Taste of Newton. Some exhibitors donate their proceeds. Some entertainers donate their time. You are invited to thank businesses and individuals for their contribution to these annual college-and-community events.

To support the college and gain business exposure as a sponsor for a future Fall Festival, please contact the alumni office.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.