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Food, fun and fellowship are hallmarks of Fall Festival

October 7th, 2019

Golf team booth at Fall Festival 2018

For the 49th year in a row, Bethel College will welcome alumni and friends to campus for Fall Festival, Oct. 10-13 with most events Oct. 12 on campus.

Find a complete Fall Festival schedule at, where there is a link to view, or download and print, a festival program.

Fall Festival kicks off with the 33rd annual Taste of Newton, a Bethel collaboration with the City of Newton and the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce, Oct. 10 from 6-9 p.m. downtown.

In addition to a wide variety of food from local restaurants, caterers and church and civic groups, live entertainment includes Bethel jazz, the Newton Community Children’s Choir, Sound of the Heartland, Newton High School Railaires and Railiners, martial artists and other music and dance performances.

Thursday will also be the opening reception for Kathy Schroeder’s exhibit “Read the Pictures: Notes from a Visual Learner” in the Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center on campus, 6-8 p.m.

Oct. 11 is the 13th annual STEM Symposium, this year looking at the diverse opportunities that STEM fields present.

Bethel graduate Aimee Voth Siebert, Denver, is the convocation speaker at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

She is the behavioral health and inclusion worklead for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, with an M.A. in international disaster psychology, and will speak on “Making Us Better at Disasters: A Human-Driven Approach.”

The full symposium begins at 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium with a panel of Siebert, 2009 Bethel graduate Blake Johnson, now in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan, and Martin Ratcliffe, Wichita, a planetarium educator, talking about STEM career opportunities.

Johnson will speak at 2 p.m. on “How Atmospheres Evolve: Tiny Particles, Planet-sized Impacts” and Ratcliffe at 3 p.m. on “Reinventing [Bethel’s] Mabee Observatory.”

The Fall Festival play is A Shayna Maidel by Barbara Lebow, the story of two sisters, one of whom survived the Holocaust, who reunite in New York after a nearly 20-year separation.

The first performance is Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. with additional shows Oct. 12, 3:30 p.m., and Oct. 13, 2 p.m., all in Krehbiel Auditorium. Tickets are on sale at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center during regular business hours or starting at least an hour before each performance, subject to availability, in the Luyken Fine Arts Center ticket office.

On Oct. 12, Fall Festival “fair day,” the food, craft and information booths from student, alumni and local organizations will be open beginning at 9 a.m. on and around the Green.

Before that, Kauffman Museum’s monthly bird walk starts at 7:30 a.m. in the museum parking lot. Experienced local birders will lead a walk of an hour to an hour-and-a-half through Chisholm Park (paved) and on Sand Creek Trail (wood-chip).

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, along with a silent auction. 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.

On the outdoor Prairie Sky Stage (Memorial Hall if rain) are student readings and a sneak preview of the Bethel literary magazine YAWP! fall issue, 9-9:20 a.m.; Bethel a cappella ensembles Open Road (men), 9:30-9:50 a.m., and Woven (women), 10-10:20 a.m.; Newton Community Children’s Choir, 10:30-10:50 a.m.; the 10th annual Jazzfest, featuring local high school groups, Bethel jazz ensembles, and jazz faculty, 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.; and new this year, the McPherson Community Brass Choir, under the direction of Jerry Toews, at 3 p.m.

The biennial Low German program takes place at 10 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. A freewill offering will be taken to support Bethel College.

On Centennial Plaza, in front of Memorial Hall, Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts (BCAPA) musicians and dancers will perform at 11 a.m., and the community steel drum band Steel Paradise at 1:30 p.m. (rain cancels).

There are music and story activities for young children (ages 2-5, with an adult caregiver) at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Memorial Hall basement. The Fall Fest hymn sing and music reunion, featuring the Bethel College Alumni Choir, is at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of Bethel College Mennonite Church.

Kauffman Museum’s special exhibit is its award-winning “K is for Kansas: exploring Kansas from A to Z.”

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. 12 at 1:30 p.m., Renae Stucky, Bethel history graduate and current access services librarian for the college library, will give a presentation, “The Growth and Decline of the Alta Community: A Case Study of Dead and Dying Towns in Kansas,” in the Kauffman Museum auditorium.

BCAPA is sponsoring the 6th Dart for Art fundraiser to support arts education. The 2-mile fun run/jog/walk starts in the Thresher Sports Complex Oct. 12 at 9:30 a.m. Registration forms are available in Mojo’s and Thresher Shop, both in Schultz Student Center, or call BCAPA at 316-283-4902, e-mail

The Fall Festival football game will see Bethel meeting historic rival Tabor College at 6 p.m. Bethel fall sports athletes will be introduced at 5:30.

The Bethel Athletic Booster Club Hall of Fame inductees (tennis standouts Angela Brodhagen Bontrager and Katrina Brodhagen Khicha; football star Brandon Kaufman; and meritorious service awardee and track and field athlete Mel Goering) will be recognized at halftime of the football game.

The popular Children’s Park will be set up north of the Ad Building, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

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 is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at #12, in “Washington Monthly,” Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at #23 in “U.S. News & World Report,” Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see

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.