Occidental students celebrated autumn at the first-ever Harvest Festival, sponsored by the Office of Student Life (OSL) on Saturday. Saturday was the coldest day in Los Angeles this fall, and the crisp air, changing leaves and festive snacks like caramel apples, hot chocolate and candy corn-topped cupcakes contributed to the autumn spirit.
The festival drew inspiration from a similar event in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” and was complete with food trucks, a bouncy house, live bands and even its own “Little Sebastian”—the miniature horse featured at the festival in the show.
“We just sort of channeled all our energy and funds into [Harvest Festival],” OSL Programming Assistant Ripsime Biyazyan (junior) said. “We brainstormed a bunch of things that we wanted to be done at the beginning of the year, and then we decided that it would be really cool to just put them all together and make a giant harvest fest.”
The Harvest Festival took the place of the Winter Fair that OSL has orchestrated in past years. OSL funded the festival with their own event budget, although other organizations around campus sponsored activities at the event. The Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC), for example, funded one of the food trucks. KOXY Radio contributed by hosting local artists The Wild Reeds, an indie folk band, and musician Chris Cohen.
“We decided to book bands instead of just DJs,” KOXY Events Director Joseph Weitz (senior) said. “We’re stoked to host these bands on our campus. Live music at Oxy is the best.”
Set to the soundtrack of live music, students played badminton, decorated cupcakes, snacked on waffles and sliders and took pictures with Little Sebastian.
“It was a great way to spend my Saturday,” Nina Doeff (first-year) said. “The food was good, and the whole thing got me really excited that it’s fall. I’ve been missing the falls I had at home, and the festival sort of felt like I was there.”
For OSL, the Harvest Festival accomplished their goal of building community around campus.
“Our mission is to do events that reinforce the four cornerstones of Occidental College—community, excellence, equity and service,” OSL Marketing Program Assistant Myles Groner (senior) said. “This event is centered around community. It’s a big event just to give back to the Oxy community. It’s all free, and it’s all for fun.”