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Fall Festivals at Community Colleges

Innovation Showcase

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September 2009, Volume 4, Number 6


Fall is in the air…crisp mornings, vibrant leaves of red and orange, pumpkin pie and apple cider…and everyone’s favorite fall festivals abound. Community colleges take advantage of this beautiful time of year to sponsor festivals in their communities.

Fall festivals are an opportunity for community colleges to generate much-needed funds for groups that could use the boost, especially in these difficult financial times and tight budgets. Many colleges sustain local artists, industries, and causes with the funds raised, enhancing the visibility of the college and the community. Others use the festivals to fund scholarships and other student programs.

Does your school have a fall festival? Or a winter, spring, or summer festival? Please share your festival experiences in the comments section at the end of this article.

Volunteer State


   Fall Fiesta Celebrates Hispanic Culture October 10

  The cuisine of Latin America and the Caribbean will be available for tasting, part of an expanded food cook-off contest, at the third annual Fall Fiesta, a celebration of Hispanic culture at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee. Live music is a big favorite, and the Hispano America dance troupe will give an exhibition of cultural dances from many different countries. 

Volunteer State Fall FiestaVolunteer State started the Fiesta as part of a long-term community engagement project. The four-year-old Hispanic outreach effort includes college process educational nights, Spanish language materials, bilingual staff, and a new $125,000 grant program designed to teach people in the Hispanic community how to access higher education. 

The Fiesta includes free lunch and drinks, a talent show, and contests for the kids. Sports skills will be on display at the soccer tournament, in which teams of five sign up to play. The college tries to make this a fun event for the entire family, encouraging families to bring a blanket and chairs and spend the day. For more information in English, call 615-230-3570, or in Spanish, call 615-230-4846.


Festival of Flavors

Festival of Flavors

Great Chefs & Grand Wine Tasting Event -- an unrivaled gathering of wine, beer, food, and friends!

The Flathead Valley Community College Foundation will host its annual Festival of Flavors event September 24-October 3 in Kalispell, Montana. The week-long gala will consist of various events: a blast off event featuring the first runner-up of the Ultimate Hometown Grill Off and winner of America's Best Burger sponsored by Live! With Regis and Kelly; a special Festival of FlavorsChef's Table wine pairing dinner featuring a four course meal prepared and presented by the college's first-year culinary arts students; Great Chefs dinners featuring seven intimate evenings with some of the Valley’s top chefs; a sushi and sake “roll your own” event; a microbrew event featuring some of the Valley's best beers; and a grand wine tasting event featuring over 100 choice wines, with winery representatives on hand to educate guests about the wines and the art of wine and food pairing, silent and live auctions, and wine shopping. 

Contributions support academic and career programs and student scholarships at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information, visit the Festival website at http://foundationfof.fvcc.edu or call the FVCC Foundation office at 406-756-3963.


Arts and Olive Festival Arts and Olive Festival

The 12th Annual Arts & Olive Festival at Cañada College will be held on Sunday, October 4. A celebration with a rustic olive theme, the festival takes place on the hilltop campus of Cañada College in Redwood City, California, featuring more than 350 olive trees.

The festival began in 1998 as part of Cañada’s 30 year anniversary celebration to benefit the Cañada College Student Scholarship fund. The festival has since grown to be one of the largest scholarship fundraisers of the year, providing much needed financial assistance to students. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is requested to support the student scholarships.

Olive Tasting

The celebration brings together more than 70 vendors consisting of some of the olive industry’s top experts to provide the community with olive education, olive and olive oil tasting, and olive-related products. This year’s festival will also serve as a kick-off to the Cañada College Performing Arts Series, sponsored by the Associated Students of Cañada College, bringing some of the Bay Area’s most spectacular performers to the Peninsula. For more information, visit the Festival website at www.olivefest.com or email olivefest@smccd.edu.

Continue the conversation on community college fall festivals in the comments section below.

Posted by The League for Innovation in the Community College on 09/21/2009 at 12:13 PM | Categories: Innovation Showcase -