Students sit around fire pits on the campus green.

Students sit around fire pits on the campus green.

Just through Corr Arch, the campus green has been transformed into a fall festival. String lights now adorn lampposts, bales of hay line pathways and trees are lit in orange and purple, perfect for the beginning of the autumn season. These changes are all thanks to the Community First Committee, who initiated Wonder-Fall weekends this October. 

Despite the University’s adjustments and cancellations of events due to COVID-19, the dedication to community that is spoken so highly of was displayed in the efforts that made the first Wonder-Fall weekend a success. The constant challenge of having community events, while staying true to The CARITAS Commitment, was overcome with the organization of these events. 

Students were given a safe and socially-distanced space to gather with friends and enjoy fun games and activities.

Each day’s events vary and can be found on the Community First Committee’s website, along with the night’s food truck menus. On Wednesdays, students can enjoy pumpkin bundt cake and warm apple cider while carving their own pumpkins. Thursdays through Saturdays, live acoustic music and fire smoke will fill the air as students play lawn games and eat from a variety of food trucks. So far, students have come in socially-distanced masses to enjoy food from La Cabra Brewing, Zacs Burgers, Donut Envy and, of course, the Public Safety ice cream truck. 

Wonder-Fall had a successful start. On Thursday evening, local band The 29ers brought its “distinct Texan twang and alt-country edge” songs to the ears of students dining on their mac and cheese, donuts, ice cream and s’mores. In the coming weeks, students will enjoy a variety of food from over 15 different food trucks. 

University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. made an appearance last week, driving by to say a quick hello to all those enjoying the events of the evening. 

Friday night’s festivities were similar to the previous evenings with a twist on the musical entertainment and new delicious foods. The famous Chickie’s & Pete’s brought their renowned crab fries while The Crepe Truck Philly had students lining up all the way to the bookstore.

Sophomore Mary Sweeney raved about the sweet crepes, while Molly McKenna added they were “definitely worth the wait.”

Saturday kicked off with a new wave of food trucks, including Pitrucco’s Pizza and Scoops and Smiles Ice Cream. The crowd favorite Donuts NYC returned with its freshly fried donuts and hot chocolate. The musical guests of the night played a range of popular songs and quickly got the crowd cheering and shouting requests. Sweet Caroline won the vote. 

Additionally, students enjoyed s’mores with the help of the Community First Committee volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the week to make sure everyone was safe and had fun. 

Students from all parts of campus were amazed at the wonderland that was put together on the campus green. The combination of the decorative lights, pumpkin carving, music, food and games provided a much needed fun celebration on campus.

Wonder-Fall is a great opportunity to get out of the dorm room, enjoy the beautiful autumn weather and have some fun while still upholding The CARITAS Commitment and keeping the community safe.