This upcoming weekend is being treated with some caution as it is Western’s “unofficial” Homecoming. With pictures of the recent Homecomings at schools like Guelph and Laurier gracing our screens this weekend, it's hard to tell what the upcoming weekend will look like here at Western.
In hopes of providing students with alternative activities this weekend and distract them from Broughdale's street parties, the University Students' Council will be hosting a Fall Festival. The festival will be held on UC Hill Saturday Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is free for all Western students.
Some of the activities include a hot air balloon ride, a stunt jump activity, an obstacle course, a haunted house, and plenty of carnival games.
Emily Ross, USC communications officer, commented on the influence behind the Fall Festival. The change in the Homecoming date, and student response to it, required some sort of acknowledgement.
“With the initial change of date there were conversations going around about what our role would be in this new decision,” said Ross. “We decided that since in the past couple of years it’s been our role to provide safe but fun alternative programming on the homecoming date, and because now the date was moved, our role has been spread over the two dates to alleviate any issues.”
Ross explained that the events on UC Hill will be dry. However, alcohol is being offered at the Spoke along with some other wet activities.
“One of the greatest things about this event, other than the fact that there are a ton of cool games, is the fact that there is going to be so much food,” Ross said.
According to the USC, there will be over 3,600 slices of pizza, 1,000 hot dogs and many a food truck. Some of the food will be given out for free.
In a recent USC meeting, some councillors had brought up an issue with the safety of intoxicated students participating in events like the hot air balloon ride. According to Ross, security who have experience in noticing the signs of intoxication will be present. There will also be student volunteers on the lookout for anyone who is overtly drunk.
“Any student who is clearly intoxicated will likely be encouraged to grab some food, listen to the music and sort of enjoy some of the less strenuous events,” Ross said.
However, Ross stressed that the events are not meant to be particularly dangerous.
“The stunt jump is particularly safe, the hot air balloon is safe — all of it is relatively safe stuff. But we do have that layer of making sure that someone who maybe is too intoxicated to participate isn’t participating,” Ross said.
This is the first time that a Fall Festival of this kind will be held, directly correlating to the changing of the official Homecoming date.
“Hopefully it goes well and it can continue as a tradition because I think it is really fun,” Ross said.
There will also be a number of student artists and bands who will be performing at the Fall Festival. Rick McGhie will also be performing a special concert at the Spoke at 3 p.m. on Saturday.