The Coziness of Autumn Felt at Fall Fest

Photo of the Chardon Polka Band playing at Wooster Activities Crew’s Fall Fest event. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Heatwole.
Elizabeth Heatwole, Contributing Writer

As the leaves of campus trees continue to drop, the entrance of quintessential fall activities and autumn weather marks the passage of time. Pumpkins, apple cider and an overwhelming feeling of comfort are encased within the essence of fall. Wooster Activities Crew’s (WAC) inaugural Fall Fest, held on Nov. 5, served as a celebration of this season through fall-themed activities. 

Walking amongst the ancient trees that surround the Oak Grove, I felt a sense of calm as the warm, aromatic air swarmed around me. Although the weather was 74 degrees, reminiscent of spring, I follow the philosophy that autumn is felt equally in both the soul and the body. Fall Fest provided activities for all enthusiasts of autumn, as well as a welcome addition to an otherwise uneventful Saturday afternoon. Leaves carpeted the lawn, bordering a mega-sized Jenga set and College of Wooster cornhole set. A pumpkin smashing area located to the right side of Kauke Hall, equipped with rubber mallets, served as a unique addition to the activities.

Live music from the Chardon Polka Band floated through Wooster’s greenspace, drawing students to the festivities. The band’s rendition of songs such as “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music,” “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club and “Wonderwall” by Oasis provided a backdrop for lawn games and socialization. 

“A little-known fact about me is that I grew up on polka music,” said WAC president Ellen McAllister ’24 “There is a local polka band who I’ve seen play several times and I thought that it would be super fun to bring them to campus. After a bit of convincing, WAC decided that it would add another level of fun to Fall Fest and that we should add them to the event.” The Chardon Polka Band is an Ohio original, playing at events ranging from Oktoberfest celebrations to concerts around the country. 

Energy seemed to course through Fall Fest as lighthearted chatter and laughter complemented the autumn-themed activities. Within the Oak Grove, Kauke Hall arched proudly over the band, overseeing the transpiring events. Upon reaching Fall Fest, I stopped first at the apple topping station, choosing to garnish my apple with maple syrup, chocolate chips and leaf-shaped sprinkles. Reminiscent of caramel apples, the station allowed participants to enjoy a similar snack without the mess, since apples were quartered and served in paper bowls. 

Planning for Fall Fest initially began in August, and “as the semester went on, we started to think about what fall staples we wanted to include,” said McAllister. Since its inception in 1980, the Wooster Activities Crew has acted as the primary student event planner, garnering a sense of campus community through its efforts. Discussing the importance of WAC, EB Fluharty ’24, WAC’s social media manager, stated that WAC plans “events where you get to know others and become more integrated…into the Wooster community.”

For participant Amy Gabrovsek ’26, Fall Fest was an opportunity to spend time with those close to her. “It’s nice to be able to enjoy a beautiful fall day outside with friends. The live music and games provide a fun atmosphere,” Gabrovsek said, adding that she attended “to partake in a community event.” Though seasons will soon begin to shift from fall to winter, memories of the comfort of autumn will linger. 

For information about upcoming events, follow the WAC Instagram page @wacwooster.

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