The annual free event for students featured tempting treats from food trucks and plenty of ways to warm up in the cooling fall air, from a mechanical bull ride and life-sized Hungry, Hungry Hippos game, to a spread of lawn games and table activities. The day was capped by a live concert featuring The Peach Tree Rascals on the outdoor stage.
Co-hosted by Quinnipiac Student Programming Board and radio station WQAQ, this year’s annual event built a crowd on the buzz of its premiere concert, said WQAQ staffer and biology major Gabrielle Liberatoscioli, BS ’24, MS ’25.
“We’ve been promoting this a lot, because Fall Fest is our biggest event of the year for WQAQ,” said Liberatoscioli. “We have 60-plus shows on our station, but when you get to bring music artists to our campus, you’re really exposing the community to them, so it’s a great experience.”
Quinnipiac Student Programming Board president Zackary Iwatsuki, ’24, a health science major, said Fall Fest is a “mini concert” warm-up for Quinnipiac’s annual Wake the Giant concert in the spring. Iwatsuki said Fall Fest helps to bring students together and build community in the first semester of the school year.
“It’s all planned by students. We work in collaboration with WQAQ to make this our big event for the fall, so it’s nice to see a lot of people come out,” said Iwatsuki.
Ashlyn Manuel, ’24 and Cali Lonardelli, ’24, brought blankets to set up on the Quad for The Peach Tree Rascals concert.
“I love their song Mariposa – it’s super popular. That’s my favorite,” said Manuel.
Mahee Saxena, ’26, added a little color to the event by bringing her Golden Retriever, Ozzie, to share the day with her friends.
“A lot of people have come to pet Ozzie, and I like all of the activities. I did the bull riding last year and this year, and I’m making my friends try it,” said Saxena. “Everyone here is so friendly, including all the staff. It’s a really nice day.”
Lines were moving quickly at the event’s three food trucks, said students Madeline Beyers ’27, Rachel Thailer, ’27, and Brendan Sweeney, ’27.
“This is our first Fall Fest. It’s pretty cool. It’s very chill,” said Beyers.
“It’s very exciting – all the activities and all the options you can try, and the concert is really nice,” said Thailer.
For his part, Sweeney said the free food was definitely one of Fall Fest’s best attractions. Morgan Pray, ’27, also gave the food trucks high marks. Pray said having the campus transformed by Fall Fest was a welcome addition to her Quinnipiac experience.
“It feels like a carnival. It feels like being at home,” said Pray.
For Kayla Pierce, ’27, Fall Fest’s blend of live music, great food, fun activities and hanging out with friends on the Mount Carmel Campus also made this day special. “It’s nice. The weather is crisp and we’re having a great time,” said Pierce. “It’s very fall.”
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