Special Events Committee’s annual Fall Fest returned to Ruth Simmons Quadrangle Thursday night, providing students with a much-needed break from midterm studying. A line of students snaked out Soldier’s Arch and extended up Thayer Street, filling the chilly October night with excited chatter as they sought to enter a giant white tent on the green. There were various appetizers, festive desserts such as apple cider doughnuts and performances from student groups such as Lion Dance, Amira, the Jabberwocks and the Bear Necessities, all for free.
“SPEC’s mission is to create community-building events on campus that provide substance-free alternatives to weekend activities,” said Vannida Lorn ’16, co-chair of SPEC. The events are always on Thursday nights so that they do not compete with parties, but are still close enough to the weekend for students to fit them into their schedules, Lorn said. “Fall Fest is a nice little study break where you can pop in, get some free food, enjoy some performances and hang out with your friends in a very safe environment.”
The structure of the event has not changed in recent years, Lorn said. Since last year, the event has had a bigger stage and tent in order to accommodate more people. The menu changes each year, as well.
Fall Fest has been a Brown tradition for many years, but it used to have a different name: Live on Lincoln.
“Live on Lincoln was a regular event for SPEC,” said Eric Foreman ’15, former co-chair of SPEC. “Once the University changed the name of the quad to Ruth Simmons, we had to decide whether to continue the event and if so, what its new name should be.”
After the quadrangle’s name change in 2012, Fall Fest was born.
Colored lights and loud music filled the tent at Thursday’s fest, while people gathered around tables and sat in groups on the ground. Students sipped on apple cider and hot chocolate and munched on bite-sized portions of popcorn chicken and samosas.
Beverly Tai ’17, who was attending the festival for the second time, said it was very similar to the previous year’s Fall Fest. “It’s fun. I enjoy the atmosphere,” she said.
Dan Wang ’17, who was also attending for the second time, said he was content with the food options and performances but expressed dissatisfaction with the line process.
“What they need to do is set up an online system where you log in your Brown ID ” and the system would provide a set time slot, he said. “You could get in after that time, but not before it. Basically, it would give everyone a place in line without having to physically be there.”