NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- An autumn tradition returns for the 34th time as Bethel College hosts its Fall Festival Oct. 7-10, with new features as well as old favorites. As usual, the Fall Festival kickoff event is the 18th annual Taste of Newton on Thursday, Oct. 7, from 6-9 p.m. in downtown Newton, featuring food booths sponsored by churches, clubs and civic organizations, as well as entertainment at two locations. Most additional Fall Festival events are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, on the college campus (including Kauffman Museum) in North Newton.
Two new entertainers for 2004 are Larry Temple, a ventriloquist who is a Bethel alumnus and current McPherson resident, and Brent Dellinger, a high school student and national yo-yo champion from Salina. They perform at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, on Saturday on the campus.
Also new this year: The Elbiata Singers from Goessel High School, directed by Greg Bontrager, will join the 70-voice Newton Community Children’s Choir and Suzuki string players from the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts. The performance is at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Favorites returning to Fall Festival after an absence of a year or more include the Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers, a group of high school students who wear Swedish costumes to perform traditional dances, and "Kindermusik" workshops for children ages 2-5. The workshops allow children to use simple musical instruments and participate in different music activities. Art workshops for children will also be offered.
Fall Festival-goers can see some of the historical reconstruction landscaping work being done at Goerz House, now the president’s residence. The public is invited to the dedication of the fountain, donated by the Bethel College Women’s Association, at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
A new commemorative item for sale at this year’s Fall Festival is a limited-edition Lithuanian candle house miniature of the college’s Administration Building, available Saturday at the Bethel College Women’s Association’s tent, known as the Market on the Green.
A new sports event is a pickup game of Ultimate Frisbee®, open to all ages, which starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the football practice field between Memorial Hall and Goering Hall.
Another special Saturday event is a reception for Duane Friesen, professor of Bible and religion, who will retire in 2005 after 35 years of teaching at Bethel College. The reception is at 10 a.m. at Kaufman House (Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution), 2515 College Ave.
This year’s Fall Fest play, which will be performed four times (including two afternoon matinees on the weekend), is the classic comedy by Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest. All performances are in the Fine Arts Center’s Krehbiel Auditorium, and tickets are available at Thresher Bookstore in the Schultz Student Center on campus or by calling (316) 284-5281.
Another traditional event is the BC Athletic Hall of Fame reception, which is at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the art gallery area of the Fine Arts Center, followed by a recognition ceremony in Krehbiel Auditorium. Honorees this year are Cynthia Alexander Doyle ’77 (track), Darrell Ediger ’71 (basketball) and the 1989-90 men’s tennis team. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at halftime of the homecoming football game on Saturday evening.
With a new sports complex scheduled for completion on the Bethel College campus by fall 2005, this year’s homecoming game will likely be the last played at Fischer Field in Athletic Park in Newton. Because of construction on the complex, the Thresher 5K Run, Walk and Jog will not be held this year.
Returning favorites include the Low German play, New Year’s cookies, the Schweitzer dialect program, the Peace Fair for All Ages, the Schniggle Fritz German Band, the Azteca Dancers, a guided prairie walk at Kauffman Museum, alumni reunions (Classes of ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ’99 and ’03), the children’s park, the climbing wall for older children and adults, women’s and men’s soccer games, plus the international student food booth, Swiss-German lunch and numerous other food options. All take place Saturday on the Bethel campus.
For more information about Fall Festival 2004, call (316) 284-5251 or go to www.bethelks.edu/fall-fest.