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37th annual Fall Festival features lots of music

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A wide variety of music in several venues, an early morning bird walk and a display of hand-crafted immigrant-style furniture are among the highlights of this year’s Fall Festival at Bethel College, Oct. 4-7 with most events Saturday, Oct. 6, on campus.

Fall Festival’s traditional beginning is Taste of Newton downtown on Thursday evening, Oct. 4, featuring all kinds of food and live entertainment. Also on Thursday, between 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., a Fall Festival button will admit you free to Kauffman Museum, where the current special exhibition, “Meet the Beak,” with focus on birds from the Charles Kauffman collection, is on display. Hours are the same Friday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 6. The museum is open Sunday from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

On Friday evening, there will be a Bethel College Jazz Gala concert in Krehbiel Auditorium. Assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies Jim Pisano will direct Bethel’s jazz ensembles. Also featured are several guest artists who will perform with Pisano in a quintet as well as with the student musicians. Tickets are $5 with a Fall Festival button and $7 without for adults, children 3-12 free with a button and $3 without. Bethel College students with ID and prospective students with an Admissions pass are free. Tickets are on sale at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, 316-284-5205, or at the Fine Arts Center ticket booth before the performance.

The earliest event on Saturday morning celebrates “Meet the Beak.” Veteran birder Gregg Friesen of Newton will lead a bird walk starting from Kauffman Museum at 7 a.m. and following Sand Creek Trail. The Thresher 5K Run, Jog or Walk starts at 8 a.m. (pre-race gathering at 7:45) on Schmidt Track in Thresher Stadium. If you aren’t pre-registered, you can register on race day between 7 and 7:30 in the stadium.

Food and craft booths as well as exhibits by student, alumni and local organizations will be open beginning at 9 a.m. on and around the campus Green. Among these will be Bethel College’s Service Corps booth in front of Mantz Library, featuring the service-oriented display used to promote Bethel College at the Mennonite Church USA convention in San Jose, Calif., last July.

Bethel alumnus Daryl Nickel of Overbrook will show examples of his hand-crafted wooden furniture in the front lobby of the Fine Arts Center. His work includes Mennonite immigrant-style pieces with hand-graining and painted detail. Nearby, in the Fine Arts Center Gallery, will be an exhibit of Bethel associate professor of art David Long’s ceramics work. The opening reception for the exhibit is from 1-3 p.m. outside the gallery.

At 11 a.m. in the auditorium of Memorial Hall, the Newton Community Children’s Choir and Rosewood Winds, a trio based in Newton, will engage in a friendly competition to match melodies and themes in a fun and entertaining musical program. There is an admission charge (reduced price with Fall Festival button).

Free music performances scheduled to take place on or near the campus Green are by Just Friends, a women’s vocal trio with accompanist, the Newton High School Jazz Band, acoustic musician Ann Zimmerman of Salina, Bethel College vocal and instrumental music groups, folk/bluegrass musicians Ben Regier and Daniel Regier, the City of McPherson Pipe Band and the Schniggle Fritz Band. There will also be a hymn sing on Centennial Plaza open to all.

On Saturday afternoon, repeated on Sunday afternoon, there will be a Bethel College Music Extravaganza, featuring faculty and student vocal and instrumental performances by ensembles and soloists. This event takes place in Krehbiel Auditorium. Tickets are $5 with a Fall Festival button and $7 without for adults, children 3-12 free with a button and $3 without. Bethel College students with ID and prospective students with an Admissions pass are free. Tickets are on sale at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, 316-284-5205, or at the Fine Arts Center ticket booth before the performance.

The annual Athletic Hall of Fame inductees this year are, in football and track, Billy Jones ’76, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and, in volleyball and basketball, Melisa (Funk) Cooper ’97, McPherson. The recognition ceremony takes place at 10:30 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium with the official induction ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Joe W. Goering Field, before the homecoming football game against Southwestern College, which starts at 7.

At halftime of the football game, the Fall Fest Pigskin Fling will allow participants to try their luck tossing commemorative footballs at various targets on the field. There will be prizes awarded, with all contestants allowed to keep the football (1,000 total).

Other sports events include Bethel varsity volleyball on vs. University of St. Mary on Thursday evening and women’s and men’s soccer vs. Rogers State University, Claremore, Okla., on Saturday. A new event on Friday night is a high school football contest at Joe W. Goering Field, La Crosse vs. Sedan (open to the public with admission charged).

Other entertainment options on campus Saturday include Newton’s Azteca Dancers; a karate demonstration by students from Ultimate Martial Arts in Newton and the American Karate and Martial Science studio in Hutchinson; juggling by Greg Schmittgens; magic by Wichita native Jonathan Sturdevant; and perennial favorites – the Low German and Schweitzer programs, old-fashioned children’s games at Kauffman Museum and the children’s park.

For a complete Fall Festival schedule, go to www.bethelks.edu/fallfest. You can download a program at this site.

Fall Festival buttons, which entitle you to free or reduced admission to many Fall Festival special events, are $3 for adults and $2 for children age 3-12 (under 3 free). Buttons are for sale at Kauffman Museum, Thresher Bookstore or the Kidron Bethel activities office or when entering the campus on Saturday.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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