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Fall Festival back in full force with food, fun and fellowship

September 26th, 2022

Meeting friends at Fall Festival 2021

Bethel welcomes alumni and friends for its annual Fall Festival, with most events taking place Saturday, Oct. 8, on campus.

Find a complete Fall Festival schedule at

Fall Festival kicks off Oct. 6 with Taste of Newton, a Bethel collaboration with the City of Newton and the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce, 6-9 p.m. downtown.

In addition to a wide variety of food from local restaurants, caterers and church and civic groups, there is live entertainment including Bethel and Newton High School jazz, the Newton Community Children’s Choir, Sound of the Heartland Chorus, martial artists, Danza Reyna del Tepeyac and other music and dance performances.

North Newton artist Glen Ediger’s exhibit “Environmental Exposures” is open in the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center all weekend, including Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday afternoon 2-4 p.m.

The opening reception is Oct. 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery.

Oct. 7 is also the 16th annual STEM Symposium, this year honoring Professor Emeritus of Psychology Paul Lewis.

Bethel graduate and school psychologist Jennifer Steinmetz, Portland, Ore., opens the symposium at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, speaking on “School psychology: A career that makes a difference.”

At 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium, a panel of three Bethel psychology graduates who now work outside psychology will talk about their experiences: Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, executive director of the Rural Schools collaborative in western Illinois; Matt Stucky, a software engineer at Intrust Bank, Wichita; and Sierra Williamson, a school social worker in Olathe, Kan.

The STEM Symposium’s concluding event takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 9 a.m. in the Administration Building chapel with a lecture by Laurie McLouth, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington.

The Fall Festival play is Quiet in the Land by Anne Chislett, which follows a young Amish man in Canada during World War I as he struggles with competing desires to serve his country and follow his church community’s peace position.

The play opens Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. with additional shows Oct. 8, 3:30 p.m., and Oct. 9, 2 p.m., all in Krehbiel Auditorium.

Tickets are on sale online at, in Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center during regular business hours, or one hour before each performance (subject to availability) in the Luyken Fine Arts Center ticket office.

On Oct. 8, Kauffman Museum’s monthly bird walk starts at 8 a.m. in the museum parking lot. Experienced local birders will lead a walk of about an hour through Chisholm Park (paved) and on Sand Creek Trail (wood-chip).

There will be food, craft and information booths from student, alumni and local organizations open starting at 8 a.m., on and around the Green in the center of campus.

The Bethel College Women’s Association’s “Market in the Round” inside Luyken Fine Arts Center offers baked goods, crafts and special Bethel College items for sale. Outside will be places to buy New Year’s cookies, homemade pie by the slice, and beef borscht and zwiebach, with all proceeds benefiting Bethel.

Other food offerings on the Green include sausages, kettle corn, verenike, breakfast burritos, cinnamon rolls and much more.

On the outdoor Prairie Sky Stage are the Newton Community Children’s Choir, 9 a.m.; a sneak peek at the Bethel literary magazine YAWP! fall issue, 9:30; Bethel a cappella ensembles Woven (women) and Open Road (men), 10 and 10:30; Lori Dreier, 11; Newton High School Jazz, noon; and Bethel jazz groups from 1-2 p.m.

The Children’s Park is open north of the Ad Building from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. with art activities, games and more.

On Centennial Plaza, in front of Memorial Hall, Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts (BCAPA) musicians and dancers will perform at 10 a.m., and the Newton Azteca Dancers at 1 p.m. (rain cancels).

A special commemorative event will take place at 10:30 a.m. on the lawn north of Luyken Fine Arts Center.

“Grieving, Celebrating and Loving Seth – Exploring Unexpected Paths and Connections on the Mysterious Journey of Remembering” will include poetry and reflections on the life and death of Seth Dunn, a student who died in an accident in 2011, by his father, Larry Dunn, and Bethel Professor of Communication Arts Christine Crouse-Dick.

Kauffman Museum’s special exhibit is “The Magic of Things: 5 Continents, 25 Centuries, 125 Years of Collecting.”

Fall Festival museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sun., with free admission throughout.

Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m., Mark Jantzen, Bethel professor of history, will speak on “The Oldest Books in the Bethel Library” – cuneiform tablets more than 4,000 years old.

There will be a groundbreaking for the new Thresher Stadium locker room facility at 4 p.m. near Goering Hall and the stadium, followed by a tailgate barbecue (tickets must be purchased in advance).

Bethel takes on Southwestern College for the homecoming football game at 6 p.m.

The Bethel Athletic Booster Club Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized at halftime of the football game: the 1999 women’s volleyball team, and longtime track and field coach and moving force behind Bethel’s athletic training program, Russ Graber, who will receive the Meritorious Service Award.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges,” and #24 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” both for 2022-23. Bethel is the only Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. For more information, see


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Bethel College prepares students for meaningful lives of work and service through faith formation, the liberal arts, and practical experience in career pathways.