Last Friday, campus was home to its first Fall Fest, an afternoon-long event composed of live music from student bands, food trucks, a bouncy obstacle course and baby animals in a makeshift barn. Despite the festival’s ambitious scope, the College began to plan the event only a few weeks ago, according to Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Janet Lohmann.
“We were talking about ways to really bring the community together and try to recognize that over the course of the last 20 months, people have been separated in all sorts of spaces and all sorts of ways,” Lohmann said. “We all thought we were going to be able to start this fall in a very different place when the spring ended … and so it was an effort to celebrate our community even in the midst of all that we were having to navigate with [the COVID-19] Delta variant.”
The College has only hosted one event of a similar nature in recent years—the May 1 Celebration last spring, which was primarily targeted toward students to unite at the end of a pandemic-infused semester.
“It looked very similar to Fall Fest,” Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze said. “We wanted to do something to mark the end of the semester, and so we picked May 1 as a day to bring the whole [student body] together and have an afternoon where people could gather and celebrate.”
However, according to Lohmann, the College has never done anything collectively with students, staff and faculty all coming together for one unified event. Hintze noted that Fall Fest could become a yearly tradition on campus, even when the pandemic is over.
“It seemed like everybody that went had a really great time, so I’m hopeful to be able to make this a tradition,” Hintze said.
“It was wonderful to get a chance to relax in the sun and be with my friends and our Bowdoin community,” Lia Kornmehl ’23 said.
“If they would advertise it more and explain what they’re gonna do and have information about it beforehand so we can anticipate it and it becomes a bigger event,” Yenevith Peña ’25 said. “That would be really cool.”
“It would be great if it were to be a recurring thing.”