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Bethel history a feature of 39th annual Fall Festival

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College continues to look toward its 125th anniversary in 2012, with some special events to remember parts of the college’s history, at the 39th annual Fall Festival, Oct. 1-4 with most events Saturday, Oct. 3, on campus.

Fall Festival’s traditional beginning is Taste of Newton downtown on Thursday evening, Oct. 1, featuring all kinds of food and live entertainment presented by a wide variety of local groups and organizations. Also on Thursday, as well as Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., a Fall Festival button equals free admission to Kauffman Museum, where the special exhibition “Considering the commonplace: Prairie towns through the lens of Bob Regier” winds down into its final four days. The museum is also open Sunday from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Saturday morning, Oct. 3, Regier will give his illustrated presentation “Mainstreets and backroads: Celebrating the ordinary” for the third and final time. He tells the story of many years of traveling through and photographing Kansas’ common places. The event is in the Kauffman Museum auditorium at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

The Fall Festival play is Thornton Wilder’s Our Town on the Krehbiel Auditorium stage Friday night as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, at 7:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. Tickets (prices vary, with no discount for Fall Festival button; Bethel College students and Kidron Bethel residents free with ID) are available at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, 316-284-5205, or at the Fine Arts Center ticket booth before each performance (subject to availability).

There will be no Thresher 5K Run/Jog/Walk this year. Those who’d like some physical exertion are invited to participate in an alumni soccer game at 11 a.m. for players on past Bethel men’s or women’s soccer teams or club soccer – call or e-mail Jason Moore at 316-284-5299, jmoore@bethelks.edu. Another opportunity is Ultimate® Frisbee® on the soccer practice field at 2 p.m.

Several events throughout the day look toward Bethel’s 125th anniversary in 2012. One is an exhibit of 10-15 antique cars that belong to members of the Wichita Horseless Carriage Club. Another is the chance to buy a piece of Bethel history: a solid brass miniature threshing stone mounted on a piece of native limestone from the Administration Building, cut from two steps that had to be replaced recently. There are only 125 of these, and Numbers 1, 2 and 3 will be auctioned at 11:57 a.m. in front of the Ad Building. Numbers 4-124 will be for sale in Thresher Bookstore or at a display table near the Ad Building.

There will be a special exhibit, “Images of BC Residence Life,” featuring photos and scrapbooks lent by alumni, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby. At 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center, Bethel Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies Robert Kreider will give the audiovisual presentation “1935 – When Bethel was Young.” The program will be repeated Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the same location, and admission is free.

Food and craft booths as well as exhibits by student, alumni and local organizations open beginning at 9 a.m. on and around the Green. The Fine Arts Center Gallery will have special Saturday hours for an exhibit of ceramics, photography and jewelry by Bethel Assistant Professor of Art David Long, most done during his recent sabbatical. The exhibit’s opening reception, with the artist present, is from 2-3:30 p.m. outside the gallery.

At 11 a.m. in the auditorium of Memorial Hall, the Newton Community Children’s Choir will perform in concert with four handbell choirs from three Newton churches (Bethel College Mennonite, First Presbyterian and Faith Mennonite). The choirs are directed by Bethel alumni – Brenda Bartel, Vada Snider and Nola Stucky. There is an admission charge (reduced with Fall Festival button).

Free music performances scheduled to take place on or near the campus Green are by Bethel’s homegrown bluegrass band Radar Ray and the Creekbusters; Bethel College vocal groups; Sound of the Heartland Chorus (Sweet Adelines); and, beginning at 1 p.m., a jazz fest featuring Newton and Hesston High School and Bethel jazz groups and musicians.

There will be a variety of children’s activities, including the children’s park and special musical, art and movement activities for children. Suzuki Strings and dance students from the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts will give a joint program at 1 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

Another special event this year is a lecture by former North Newton resident Karl “Fritz” Juhnke, Garland, Texas, on the chess-like game Arimaa, at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Science Center #121. Juhnke is the author of the book Beginning Arimaa: Chess Reborn beyond Computer Comprehension. There will be a chance to play Arimaa at 1 p.m. in front of the library.

The Low German program returns after a brief hiatus and will take place at 9 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. Low German radio personality Carl Zacharias, Reinland, Manitoba, well-known in Canada, will be featured in the program, along with a PowerPoint® presentation by Harold Thieszen, North Newton, on Low German and its speakers, which will include available resources in Low German, such as books, CDs, magazines and films. There is an admission charge (reduced with Fall Festival button) for all but Bethel students and Kidron-Bethel activity pass holders, who get in free.

The annual Athletic Hall of Fame inductees this year are men’s basketball standout Mark Ediger ’98, Mission, and the 1994-95 men’s tennis team, coached by Marty Ward with Grant Scott. 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 Friends University, which starts at 7.

Other sports events include Bethel varsity volleyball vs. Tabor College on Thursday evening.

For more details and a complete Fall Festival schedule, go to www.bethelks.edu/fallfest. You can view and print a festival program at this site.

Fall Festival buttons, which entitle you to free or reduced admission to several 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 at five campus entrances on Saturday.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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