Observation Story

Students Celebrate Fall with Annual Fall Fest

by Meghan Connolly

Oct. 7, 2015

Harrisburg, Pa. – Students at Penn State Harrisburg celebrated the beginning of fall and the new school year with the Fall Fest on Tuesday, October 7 during the common hour.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, Fall Fest was held in the Vartan Plaza and has been an annual event enjoyed by students and faculty of all majors and was used as a way to welcome Homecoming Week.

The Vartan Plaza, the green strip of land between Olmsted building and the library, was littered with students sitting on scattered benches, tables and blankets. The atmosphere was positive, lively and full of fall-cheer as students walked within groups of friends, taking in everything the fest had to offer.

“I’m having a great time,” said Sami Hornbostel, a senior human development family studies major, while sitting in the breezy October afternoon. “The weather is great!”

Along with optimal weather, the Fall Fest had free food, funded by the Student Government Association, available for students and faculty. “Free food is wonderful,” said fellow senior human development family studies major, Jess Brown.

It seems that “free” is a common thread on campus events and popular among college students. Following the stigma that college students struggle with expenses, it’s refreshing to have a campus-wide engaging activity that only requires participation of the students.

SGA members volunteered to work the booths of the various activities offered at the fest, and made a point to engage the student body. Events included: a photobooth with funny costumes to wear, penny wars, specialty candy apples and even live music provided by the band, Last Left. A pumpkin decorating contest was available for students who wanted to display their creativity, as well as a raffle to see who could guess the weight of the large pumpkin displayed outside of Olmsted building.

“I guessed 528, and the actual weight was 529,” said Alyssa Sanchez, a senior psychology major, who won the pumpkin weight contest. “I’ve never won a contest before, so it was pretty cool guessing the closest number.” As a reward, Sanchez won a “PSU” sweatshirt blanket, and looks forward to utilizing it in the chilly months ahead.

What makes this event different than any other event on campus is that no matter what your interests include, everyone can come together as a student and faculty body to celebrate the beginning of fall. There are many events on campus that pertain to specific majors or clubs, yet Fall Fest remains a favorite among the attendees.

“SGA was really proud of the turnout for the 2015 Fall Fest,” said freshman student and SGA Chief of Staff, Ann-Queen Sedhon. “Advisors recruited volunteers from all three branches of SGA Club and were really happy with how easy it was.”

Fall Fest is a spin-off of the annual Penn State Main Campus Fall Fest, which also initiates Homecoming Week and is beloved by the large student body. Harrisburg SGA members are hoping to continue the tradition of Penn State Harrisburg Fall Fest and look forward to another, fun-filled fest in 2016.