This year’s Fall Fest Chair Purva Trivedi.
Picture by Lesly Luna.
By Kristen Maikoo
In the weeks leading up to Fall Fest, classes converge in scheduled practices to create a uniquely Salem experience. Campus babbles with energy and an air of secrecy as students share ideas, editing scripts and lyrics while they shield their plans from other classes.
Practices for each class consumes students’ time and efforts as they compete against one another to acquire as many points as possible. “So far our class has been working extremely hard,” says Jennifer Vitarelli, sophomore and Class of 2018 Fall Fest chair. “Our class has been putting in so many extra hours of practice and we have all been trying to participate in Spirit Week as much as we can to start racking up points early!”
Mary Wagner, first year and Class of 2019 Fall Fest chair, says, “I really wanted to make sure I was putting an emphasis on the fact that this isn’t just my show; it’s the whole class’ show.”
Fall Fest is not without its obstacles or triumphs. Senior Emily Gilmore, Class of 2016 Fall Fest chair, says that so far, preparation has been “stressful but rewarding.”
Wagner describes it as “hectic…Stressful would be a good descriptor as well. However…I do not doubt that no matter what place we come in, we will all be proud of the effort we put into this fun and rewarding tradition.”
Fall Fest is a commitment. Vitarelli says, “My class is what motivates me most [to participate in Fall Fest]” she says. “We have so many talented artists, dancers, writers, etc. and we are trying to play on those strengths.”
Fall Fest allows students to work and bond with their classmates. “I love how Fall Fest inspires people to make new friends and to work together,” says Gilmore.
Gilmore knew of this campus-wide event before she was a first year. “I read about it online when I was in high school and I had to know more. I went to the NC archives and looked at the yearbooks to see what I could find. I learned about morning skits from an alumni….” She was the decorations chair for her first three years during Fall Fest at Salem.
She encourages students to take part in this Salem tradition. “Participate!” says Gilmore. “You have no idea what you are missing out on, and there aren’t enough words to describe how much love and support you can find if you are willing to give your class a chance!” she adds.
Wagner says, “I’ve been involved in Fall Fest for all of about a month.” She intends to hone her leadership skills as the chair for her class.
Vitarelli has been involved in Fall Fest since she arrived on campus last fall. “Before my first year, I knew Fall Fest was a tradition that was loved and celebrated here at Salem. After my first year, I knew I wanted to be as involved as possible and was fortunate enough to be elected as my class’ chair!”
Fall Fest is on Sept. 23 and classes are suspended on that day. “We have all been working since the night of the reveal to get it perfect. And I can’t wait to see the final result on September 23!” Vitarelli says.
Despite its challenges, Fall Fest remains a rewarding day of Salem College tradition. All the hard work pays off when you hear, “It’s Fall Fest, y’all!”