Arboretum Hosts A Fall Fling

Members of the community celebrated the changing season at the Arboretum’s Fall Festival, which included a Nature Trail night hike lit by handmade jack-o’-lanterns.

The red and yellow leaves falling from the College’s trees aren’t the only signs of fall that can be spotted around campus. Passersby on the Nature Trail this weekend might have noticed several jack-o’-lanterns lurking around the bends in the path. The pumpkins, which were carved at an event open to the greater community last Wednesday, were just one aspect of the Arboretum’s annual Fall Festival, which was held last Friday.

The festival, which began in the afternoon and proceeded into the evening, gave students, faculty, community members, and their families the chance to revel in the dawning autumnal season. The daytime activities included a foraging walk along a Nature Trail and a Haverfarm stand, both showcasing the natural bounty that can be found on Campus.

After nightfall, the celebration moved to the Skate House by the Duck Pond, where things took a spooky turn. For the faint of heart, there was a variety of well-lit activities, from lawn-games to s’mores and cider, as well as in-house entertainment from the a capella group Counterpoint. 

“The Skate House was surrounded in fairy lights,” said Teruha Stergios ’20, an attendee to the event. “Walking in to the warm room packed with families watching a capella felt like a big holiday.”

Outside, more adventurous spirits could join a guided night excursion along the Nature Trail, where they could witness the jack o’lanterns in full glow. After a walk illuminated by the carved pumpkins, participants in the night hikes were invited to vote on their favorites.

“First place in the adult category went to [Assistant Professor] Kristen Whalen for her pumpkin ‘Just Bee Yourself,’” said Jennie Ciborowski, Arboretum’s program coordinator and an organizer of the festival. “First place in the student category went to Ruiming Li ’22 for his pumpkin ‘The Really Evil Demon.’ Lastly, first place in our children’s category went to Maggie Hall for her pumpkin ‘Uni the Unicorn.’”

Each contest winner was rewarded with an Arboretum t-shirt for their efforts. For the other attendees, an enjoyable evening packed full with seasonal festivities was a fitting prize for their participation.

Photos by Ruiming Li ’22 (pumpkin carving) and Jennie Ciborowski (festival).