Fall Festival weekend

Alicia Bones

Friday, Oct. 20, family and friends of Lawrence students as well as LU alumni will join Lawrentians on campus, not for “mid-Oktoberfest” beer and brats, but for Lawrence’s annual Fall Festival.
The Fall Festival is Lawrence’s version of Homecoming. Family, friends, prospective students and alumni come to campus to participate in a variety of activities to give them not beer, but a slice of the Lawrence life.
Events include a Lawrence football game against Beloit, mini-courses taught by faculty members, and the Kaleidoscope Concert, in which all musical ensembles of the university will participate.
The Fall Festival has taken place for almost 10 years. Dean of Students Nancy Truesdell says she receives a “positive response from families” every year so they continue the tradition.
She says if “family members want to understand” life here at Lawrence, the Fall Festival is the way to do so.
The Kaleidoscope Concert is unique to this year’s festival. The concert includes performances from all musical ensembles and a few combined pieces.
Philip Swan, Associate Director of Choral Activities, says this will be “the first time all musical ensembles will hear each other in one snapshot.”
The Kaleidoscope concert is Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Appleton Performing Arts Center. Other concerts this weekend include the Forgotten Peoples choir concert Friday at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel and “Note to Self,” a student a cappella group, at 10 p.m. Friday in the Underground Coffeehouse.
Along with the concerts, a highlight of the weekend should be the mini-courses. Mini-courses are similar to actual Lawrence classes and are taught by Lawrence faculty. Truesdell says they have professors from all disciplines so parents and friends can experience the “classes their student takes.”
One of these courses, called Italian and Gelato: Your Very First Lesson in Italian, is taught by Patricia Vilches, associate professor of Spanish and Italian.
Along with student Marissa Vallette, Vilches will introduce the Spanish department and Spanish language club ­Viva!, and then teach attendees “the first notions of Italian language.”
Vilches adds, “I hope that some people will go to Italy so they can ask for gelato in Italian while there.” Italian and Gelato will take place in 401 Main Hall. All mini-courses are scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and take place in various campus locations.
Many sporting events and sports-related activities will also occur this weekend. For alumni, Friday marks the Blue and White Dinner, at which exceptional college athletes are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The women’s volleyball team plays Beloit College Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the Alexander Gym.
Finally, Sunday there will be a 5K Fun Run beginning in the Downer parking lot at 8:30 a.m. and an alumni baseball game at 9 a.m.
Some students also plan to get into the action. Jessie Arlen, a freshman, says her parents and older brother are coming for the festivities and she will be singing in the Kaleidoscope Concert with the Lawrence Jazz Singers.
Marra Thompson, a fifth-year senior and her sister, Kristen Thompson, don’t have family coming up, but Kristen says in regards to her sister, “I still have her.”
With such variety in events and so much curiosity throughout the school, there is something for everybody planned for the Fall Festival.