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41st Fall Festival to feature lots of fun

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The 41st annual Fall Festival at Bethel College will focus on fun.

Fall Festival officially begins with Taste of Newton downtown on Thursday, Oct. 6 – featuring all kinds of food and live entertainment and marking the event’s 25th year – and runs through Sunday, Oct. 9, with most events Saturday, Oct. 8, on campus.

Besides Ultimate® Frisbee®, this year there will be Quidditch (introduced in the Harry Potter book series). While young children enjoy the always popular Children’s Park, older children, teens and adults can again try to stay on the bucking “bungee bull.”

There will be several “fun and funky” historical exhibits and features. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood in 2011, Kauffman Museum’s special exhibit is “Awesome 150,” for which friends of the museum chose 150 artifacts and specimens usually kept behind-the-scenes. Admission to the museum is free with a Fall Festival button, Oct. 5-9.

A special exhibit that is part of the lead-up to Bethel College’s 125th anniversary year in 2012 is “Fun and funky Thresher stuff,” which will be on display in the Fine Arts Center lobby Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It will include pennants, plates, cups, mugs, pins, pens, toys, paperweights, plaques, clothing – anything that features a Bethel College image.

From 1-2 p.m., Toby Tyner, associate director of development, will host “Thank you, Herman Bubbert: Bethel pranks throughout the years” in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center. There will be prank photos, stories and possibly confessions.

Back for a second year by popular demand are the Prairie Rose Rangers, at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Tent on the Green. This “cowboy band” plays music of the Great Plains and will have a brand-new Christmas album for sale at their Bethel concert.

A special music performance not listed on the Fall Festival printed program is Daryl Nickel, Overbrook, a Bethel alumnus who not only custom-builds and restores vintage furniture (some small items will be available for sale in a booth on the Green) but is also a singer-songwriter in the folk, bluegrass, blues and old-time vein. He will perform at 11:15 a.m. in the Tent on the Green.

The Fall Festival theater presentation is the classic British farce Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas (1848-1914), 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 students $2 Friday and Saturday and free Sunday; 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 starting one hour before each performance and subject to availability.

A Low German program – this year featuring Leon Janzen, Hesston, and Marvin D. Thieszen, North Newton, with Faith Wenger, Hesston, accompanist, performing “Olla Mutta Homa” (“Old Mother Hubbard”) – will be at 9 a.m. Saturday in Krehbiel Auditorium. There is an admission charge (reduced with Fall Festival button).

Athletic events and activities include women’s and men’s soccer vs. Kansas Wesleyan University, Wednesday, Oct. 5, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Joe W. Goering Field; volleyball vs. MidAmerica Nazarene University, Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. in Thresher Gym; on Saturday, Muggle Quidditch at 10:30 a.m. and Ultimate® Frisbee® at 2 p.m., both on the soccer practice field, and a dunk tank and pitching station from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., hosted by Bethel’s new women’s softball team.

There will also be a guided Sand Creek Trail walk Saturday, starting at the Memorial Grove trailhead at 2 p.m., with trail caretaker and Kansas Master Naturalist Richard Rempel, North Newton.

The Athletic Hall of Fame recognition, 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Krehbiel Auditorium, will honor Bev Mayer, Phoenix, who set records as a student in volleyball and track and later as a Thresher volleyball coach, and football standout Tod Bean, Murray, Utah. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at 6:30 p.m., right before the homecoming football game vs. Friends University, on Joe W. Goering Field.

Food and craft booths as well as exhibits by student, alumni and local organizations open beginning Saturday at 9 a.m. on and around the Green. The Market on the Green, sponsored by the Bethel College Women’s Association, will this year feature a special 125th anniversary picnic basket.

At 10 a.m. in the auditorium of Memorial Hall, the Newton Community Children’s Choir, under the direction of Carmen Weller, will perform in concert with Bethel’s small women’s a cappella ensemble, Woven. There is an admission charge (reduced with Fall Festival button).

In addition to the Prairie Rose Rangers and Daryl Nickel, free music performances include Kindermusik at 9:30 a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m. in Room #140 in the Fine Arts Center; Suzuki Strings and the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts music and dance concert at 1 p.m. in Memorial Hall; and Jazzfest on the Green, beginning at 12:30 p.m. rather than 11:30 a.m. as listed in the printed schedule, and featuring Hesston High School, Bethel College, McPherson High School and Newton High School jazz groups, in that order.

The hymn sing, which has become a Fall Festival tradition, will be at 2 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel.

In addition to the Children’s Park, kids can enjoy meeting Moozie® the Cow, including a special presentation at 10:30 a.m., repeated at 12:30 p.m., in Room #176 in the Fine Arts Center; as well as storytelling sponsored by the Western District Conference Resource Library (look for blankets on the Green or in the Mantz Library lower level if rain). The Resource Library, celebrating 75 years in 2011, was first located on the Bethel College campus.

The 5th annual STEM Symposium takes place during Fall Festival and this year honors mathematics at Bethel College. On Friday, Bethel alumni Gary Goertz, Tucson, Ariz., professor of political science at the University of Arizona, and Christine Jantz, Boston, chief investment officer and portfolio manager for Jantz Morgan LLC, will speak at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. These lectures will be in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center. Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Ad Building chapel, Bethel alumnus Garth Isaak, Bethlehem, Pa., professor of mathematics at Lehigh University, will give the keynote lecture. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Back for a second year are a come-and-go reunion of Freeman (S.D.) Academy and Freeman Junior College alumni, Saturday noon-2 p.m. in Room 172 of the Fine Arts Center, and the Buffalo Barbecue, which begins at 5 p.m. on Centennial Plaza, with buffalo prepared by Gehring Buffalo Ranch, Moundridge. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended – at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 316-284-5205, or on-site on a first-come first-served basis.

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 in advance at Kauffman Museum, Thresher Bookstore or the Kidron Bethel activities office or at five campus entrances on Saturday.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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