Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Student Activities hosts Festival

Liberty’s Equestrian Center brings students together to enjoy the fall celebration featuring festive events

Sunshine and blue skies greeted the crowd that made its way to Liberty University’s Equestrian Center for the third annual Fall Festival hosted by Student
Activities (SA).

Students were given the opportunity to have their faces painted. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Students were given the opportunity to have their faces painted. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Families and students attended the event and were encouraged to wander through the barn to see and pet the horses and explore some of the grounds of the Equestrian Center throughout the day. One of the first stops was the hospitality table, where fall goodies such as hot apple cider, doughnut holes and popcorn were being offered.

Sprawled across the grounds were traditional fall activities and offerings such as hayrides, sack races and a pumpkin patch.

According to Emilee Forner, event supervisor of the Fall Festival, one of the biggest hits at the festival was the pumpkin painting.

“The pumpkins are free, and it encourages all ages to get involved,” Forner said.

This year, in addition to the Fall Festival favorites, SA brought in an array of carnival games and activities such as Can Smash, ring toss and sand art. As a part of the carnival games, students won tickets that could later be exchanged for various prizes such as gift cards and snacks.

Pumpkins were offered free to students. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Pumpkins were offered free to students. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Students also enjoyed lighthearted competition through a volleyball game and a series of sack races as an audience cheered on the contestants.

Overall, it was celebrating the fall season and curiosity that brought many of the students to the Equestrian Center.

“I like the food and cider and the horses,” Abby Quigg, a freshman at Liberty, said. “It’s what you’re supposed to do in the fall.”

For some students, it was the adventure of experiencing something totally new.

“I like the view and the horses,” Evelyn Perez, a freshman at Liberty, said. “I’m enjoying the fall season. I’ve never seen a real fall before. I’m from Miami.”

The fall activities also attracted visitors from outside the student body.

“It’s fall. You have to do fall things in the fall,” Eric Stermer, a Liberty University Online admissions specialist, said. “I like the free food, and it’s such a pretty day.”

The festival also showcased the talents of a group of Liberty students who make up the band Sandbox Scars. They brought the festival grounds to life by treating the festival-goers to a live music performance.

While many students enjoyed the food and games, the horses and the trail rides drew others back for a second year.

The Equestrian Center provided students with a beautiful fall setting.   Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

The Equestrian Center provided students with a beautiful fall setting. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

“I love horses,” Liberty senior Brittany Evans said. “It is a lot of fun. I like the trail riding. That is what made me come back.”

And while some students came back knowing what to expect, some students came for the first time expecting a good time.

“I came because it seemed like a lot of fun,” Tina Selby, a freshman at Liberty, said. “LU events are always fun.”

According to Forner, one of the reasons that the Fall Festival is held at the Equestrian Center is to help promote the center, and the Fall Festival provides an opportunity to do so while the scenery is so pretty.

“The property is beautiful,” Forner said. “The Fall Festival is a great reason for people to be up here.”

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