Jesse McCartney shares his ‘Beautiful Soul’

Madison Weaver, Staff Writer

Thanks to extensive planning by the Fall Fest Committee and the assistance of many other campus offices, students gathered on the football practice field to celebrate Fall Fest on Sept. 17 with food, carnival rides, and music during an afternoon packed with student performers, leading up to a headline performance by Jesse McCartney.

McCartney wowed the crowd with new music including “Superbad” as well as throwback hits from the early 2000s such as “Body Language” and “Beautiful Soul.” He entertained the crowd with behind-the-scene anecdotes between songs, as well as taking a “Snapchat” of the whole audience and bringing a student onstage to serenade.

After the performance, McCartney headed over to the football stadium to sing the national anthem for the University’s football home opener.

Student performers also graced the stage throughout the day, including Lindsey Ferguson ’18 and Tyler DiBartolo ’19, the Bucknell Orchestra, Log Cabin, Zag Haze and Young Mansa, DJ Elias Chonchon (Elias Strizower ’17), the Bison Girls, as well as all five of the University’s a cappella groups.

“This is my second year performing at Fall Fest, and once again, it has been the highlight of my fall semester. I love seeing everyone come together for music, games, and so many fried foods,” Ferguson said, who performed with Beyond Unison and in a duet with DiBartolo.

“I was grateful for the opportunity to play on such a big stage. I got the chance to sing and play drums for the Bucknell community, which meant a lot to me and the peers with whom I performed,” DiBartolo said, who accompanied Ferguson and sang with the Bison Chips.

Students enjoyed carnival foods such as fried Oreos, cotton candy, ice cream, and, of course, the Flying Bison’s famous nacho tots. The event also featured a campus BBQ provided by the University’s dining services and a beer garden for students 21 and older.

“Planning the food component was definitely a challenge. We really tried to pick food that people would love while sticking to the theme and making sure that everyone would have something to eat!” Nick Tatarian ’17 said.

“Fall Fest was a great opportunity to spend time with friends on campus, and it was definitely exciting to see Jesse McCartney perform as well,” Jasmine Spinelli ’19 said.

The event was planned by students who applied in May of last semester to become members of the Fall Fest Committee. Committee members worked collaboratively throughout the summer, and sent out a survey to select the headline performer.

“Fall Fest is [the result of] the input and hard work of students for students. Every choice and detail was created from the thoughts of your peers,” Director of Campus Activities and Student Organizations Mike Duignan said.

Fall Fest also featured carnival rides including, among others, a super slide and a Ferris wheel.

“Events such as these are impossible without the support and partnerships of dining/catering, Public Safety, facilities, events management, athletics, Weis Center, communications, student government, and the Division of Student Affairs. It takes a community to pull a successful event such as Fall Fest off,” Duignan said.

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