Fall in love under the University’s fall foliage

Juliette Gaggini, News Co-Editor

The University – previously voted second most beautiful college campus in the United States by USA Today in 2017 – is home to incredibly vibrant displays of fall foliage. The University’s autumnal transition is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also sets the scene for the Halloween spirit on campus.

As Halloween approaches, students have been enjoying many fun and spooky Fall activities on campus. In preparation for the holiday, for instance, many clubs, organizations, and residential accommodations have hosted (or are planning to host) Halloween-centered activities. These include pumpkin painting, Vedder’s Fall Fest, a spooky basket designing event, the Country Fair, ghost stories and more.

To set the tone for Halloween, the Student Government (BSG) hosted a pumpkin painting event for the Class of 2024 on Saturday, Oct. 16. Bernadette Maramis ’24, president of the class of 2024, told The Bucknellian about the event. “The pumpkin painting event was a class unity event for the class of 2024,” Maramis explained. “Our intentions were to create a comfortable and relaxing space where our class can come together, paint some mini pumpkins, and meet some new friends!”

“We got some donuts and apple cider to coincide with the fall theme,” she continued. “The turnout was great-considering that this was a collaborative event with Seventh Street Studio as they were hosting their embroidery pumpkins event. It was so fun!” “Pumpkins!” Maramis added enthusiastically.

On Thursday, Oct. 21 a “make your own spooky basket” event was held at MacDonald Commons. The event reserved materials for the first 25 people, and students got to enjoy creating their own spooky Halloween baskets. 

Friday, Oct. 22 witnessed the arrival of the Country Fair just outside Uptown. The event was hosted by Campus Activities & Programs (CAP) in collaboration with its student-led affiliate (CAP Core), beginning at 8 p.m. The fair featured activities such as a petting zoo, caramel apples, hay rides, free food and more. Danielle O’Sullivan ’24, CAP Core Event Manager, offered, “I was the event manager for the night and we had an awesome turnout! The hay ride around campus was extremely popular and the corn dogs and caramel apples flew off the tables! Overall, it was a really fun fall event!”

Students spoke positively of the Country Fair, long a staple of Bucknell’s fall programming. Adrianna Rakauskas ’24, for instance, noted that “the Country Fair provided an outlet for me to forget about my stress while having fun with friends. It put me in such a good mood,” Rakauskas said. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., the Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences Rich Robbins made his annual free public presentation entitled “Ghosts and Hauntings: Decide for Yourself.” Per a statement released about the event, Robbins planned to “introduce theories of what ghosts and other related phenomena are, offer a discussion of evidence for and against the existence of ghosts — including alleged ghost photos and examples of electronic voice phenomena — and provide an introduction to ghost hunting and identification of local hot spots.”

This past Thursday, Oct. 28 the Vedder Fall Fest was held outside Vedder Hall. Activities such as pumpkin painting, cookie decorating, a s’mores fire pit and a photo booth were present, along with the opportunity to pie an RA! There was also a Halloween costume workshop at 5 p.m. in the Seventh Street Studio & Makerspace where students were told to bring costume ideas and learned to sew them.

Sahana Paravantavida ’23, an RA in Smith, expressed excitement about the Halloween events on campus and the bonding opportunities they offer to students. “I was so excited because considering how the year went last year with COVID, it prevented a lot of community based events,” she remarked. “I was really excited to see the freshman and sophomore class mingle and enjoy the holiday on campus and engage with all the awesome resources and organizations on campus. These events ultimately help students have an opportunity to relax and enjoy activities outside of academics.”

Students have also been looking forward to the Halloween events being held this upcoming Halloweekend. This Friday a Halloween cupcake decorating event will be held at Seventh Street Studio & Makerspace. Students are invited to come design Halloween-themed cupcakes, and eat them!

Tonight (Oct. 29) there will also be a Halloween themed event at Uptown hosted by CAP and Core. This event will have everything from escape rooms to cupcakes with free food and free stuff! Tomorrow night (Oct. 30), a Haunted Gingerbread House and Cookie Decorating event will be taking place at Seventh Street Studio and Makerspace from 5-8 p.m. 

Other activities stressed team spirit and bonding throughout the month.

In honor of building Halloween spirit, this whole week The Berger Varsity Weight Room hosted a spirit week where each day student athletes dressed up with their teams. Spirit week days included Twin Day, Pajama Day, Jersey Day, Groutfit Day and Halloween Costume Day. Jack Casturo ’24, a member of the track team, enjoyed the team spirit generated around getting dressed up for team lifts. Casturo noted he was excited to dress up with his friends for Jersey Day and Halloween Costume Day. “I think it’s just a good thing to boost the culture of the team and get excited about being part of the team and going to lift,” he explained. 

Maddie Henderson ’22 told The Bucknellian about how much she loves the Halloween environment on campus and in downtown Lewisburg. “I love the Halloween spirit on campus this time of year! I particularly like going to the bars downtown on Halloween (since I am over twenty-one),” she added parenthetically. “I find that the bars are awesome because everyone there is super festive and the vibes are great.” 

Claudia Halbreiner ’23 elaborated a similar enthusiasm for Fall spirit in Lewisburg – particularly at Ard’s Farm, a local spot with farm fresh food, an indoor market, and outdoor Fall activities. “Ard’s has so many fun fall activities, and I really enjoyed pumpkin picking and watching them shoot pumpkins out of a cannon,” she noted, describing Ard’s famous pressurized ‘pumpkin cannon’, which fires gourds at various targets across a large field. “Their indoor market is definitely at its peak in the Fall. Their cheesecakes and corn bread are divine! Lewisburg just really puts me in the fall spirit.”

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