Fairy lights illuminated the misty night air as Samford students gathered together in Ben Brown Plaza to enjoy games, food and live music. On Oct. 29, Samford’s Student Activities Council hosted its annual Fall Fest from 6-9 p.m featuring a concert by Chris Renzema.
Students were able to feast on cotton candy, popcorn and full-sized candy bars as they painted pumpkins, dueled with jumbo Connect Four, and tried not to topple the massive Jenga Tower. If they got too cold, attendees could curl around a cup of warm apple cider and chat with their costumed peers.
The Student Activities Council’s Director of Special Events, Andrew Mintz, wanted the event to have four factors: friends, fun, food and -because he needed another “F”- fantastic music.
“I think we really accomplished that. A lot of people came with their friends, and some people met new friends last night, which was really the goal of the event,” Mintz said.
Mintz intentionally planned the events so that as many students as possible could find something that they could enjoy.
“Pumpkin painting is a little easier than pumpkin carving, but it’s still that same fun fall activity aspect,” he said. “And then the yard games like Jenga, cornhole, the giant connect four, reach a broad audience, so if someone doesn’t want to paint a pumpkin, they might love to play cornhole.”
For Mintz, the most rewarding part of planning Fall Fest was being able to help other students create memories.
“This is where memories are made,” Mintz said. “It’s like yes you’re going to remember your classes, but Fall Fest is what you’re really going to remember out of your school year, so the opportunity to create events like that is really what is so special to me.”
Students also buzzed with excitement about the headliner of Fall Fest, Chris Renzema. Renzema had been scheduled to perform in March of 2020, but the concert was canceled when students were unexpectedly sent home due to rising concerns about COVID-19. So when they were looking for a performer for this year’s Fall Fest, the Student Activities Council knew exactly who to ask.
Vice President of Events Caroline Coleman explained the process of inviting Renzema back to Samford.
”Last year, there were no concerts happening because you didn’t want people in big groups, but then over the summer, we got a lot of revised guidelines for what events could look like,” Coleman said. “We always wanted to bring him back whenever we could because Samford students were really excited about it the first time. This was just the perfect time.”
Another event special to this year’s Fall Fest was a costume contest. Students were invited to dress up as individuals or in group costumes.
Coleman said that the costume contest was her personal favorite event of the night.
“The costume costume is really a good addition to everything we’re planning on doing,” Coleman said. “It adds a little something, seeing everyone there dressed up. It’s fun to see 300 people at your event, but it’s a little more fun and feels more whimsical when some are dressed up.”
Winners of the costume contest will be announced over the weekend on SAC’s Instagram, @sacsamford.