By Noah Goldberg
On the afternoon of Saturday Oct. 20, from 2 to 5 p.m., the DeSales Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted its annual Octoberfest event on the lawn of the Dorothy Day Student Union. Previously named “O’Connorfest” after DeSales’ former president Father O’Connor, this event is a traditional fall festival involving many different activities.
The event included many of the staples expected at a festival this time of year, such as comfort food, pumpkin decorating and caramel apples. Beyond the more predictable aspects of the festival, CAB went above and beyond in providing some over-the-top attractions to help get the DeSales and Center Valley communities into the fall spirit. Some of the highlights of the festival were live music from a guitarist and singer, hayrides taking place in the back parking lot of Dorothy Day, and a petting zoo for people to spend time with farm animals. CAB also had an ice cream truck so that everyone attending could enjoy cooler treats as they went around to all the different activities sprawled out across most of the Dorothy Day lawn. Other activities included inflatable bouncy castles, games like skeeball, and a caricature artist providing parody portraits for anyone willing to sit down and have the artist sketch them.
One of the more crucial components necessary for the fall festival’s success was having a hayride set up for all attending to have the chance at experiencing the festive mood. The hayride provided for DeSales’ Octoberfest was comprised of a green tractor and a large attachment that fit around 10 people to take on a lap around campus.
Perhaps the most important factor in having a successful fall festival was, ironically, one of the few elements that the event coordinators could never fully dictate. This crucial factor, of course, was the weather, and luckily for CAB, they could not have asked for weather more indicative of the fall season. The cooler temperatures that set in on Center Valley for the week leading up to Octoberfest remained for the festival, but there were some moments of sunlight that made for pleasant weather conditions. Having the cooler weather went a long way in adding to the atmosphere and theming of Octoberfest and helped to remind the attendees that Halloween is right around the corner.
One aspect of Octoberfest that was unusual compared to other on-campus events was the number of young children and adult members of the DeSales community that attended the event. Considering that Octoberfest occurred simultaneously with Parents’ Weekend, it made sense to open it up to a greater number of people in the community. The decision to invite more than just DeSales students led to a solid overall turnout and allowed many young children to enjoy the more kid-friendly activities, such as the petting zoo.
When asked what he enjoyed most about Octoberfest, junior Mike Fishler said, “I really liked the food, the games and spending time with friends was great for getting everyone in the holiday spirit as we gear up for Halloween.”