Zach Steensma–Staff Writer
It’s October, and Halloween is fast approaching. At Dordt, there are all sorts of events and traditions surrounding this haunted holiday.
Halloween has a unique history in the United States, blending both secular and church traditions. However in Northwest Iowa, it is also a celebration of the harvest and a season of community building.
Pumpkinland, a small agro-tourism operation located just outside of Orange City, is a popular fall destination for Dordt students who are lured by the challenge of navigating through its corn maze, usually in the dark.
“I love pumpkins,” said senior biology major Jonathan Nyman. He recalls his friends collecting leftover pumpkins from the Fall Fests of years past and storing them in his apartment. “There’s only one thing that exceeds the jubilance I feel when I gallivant through a ripe pumpkin patch: when all of my friends fill my room to the brim with this crown of creation, the orange-est of earth’s blessings,” he said.
For others, pranks and hijinks are the highlight of the Halloween season. Although Dordt maintains a long legacy of pranks (as evidenced in the previous issue of The Diamond) students are reminded that vandalism and the damage of property goes against the student code of conduct.
Other students enjoy dorm and apartment trick-or-treating, or “reverse” trick-or-treating: going door to door and handing out candy.
In addition to these autumnal escapades, Dordt Student Activities is already in the early stages of planning the annual Fall Fest, which will take place on October 26 in the Campus Center. The festival will include the traditional pumpkin carving contest, which has become increasingly competitive in recent years.
Furthermore, the annual Costume Dance at Dordt will take place on November 3, the Friday after Halloween. Each year, students put in hours of work into their costumes, from brainstorming, to gathering materials from the campus Costume Shop (operated by the Theatre Department), and even doing their own makeup. Prizes are offered for best groups, couples/duos, and individuals.
“We never really celebrated Halloween growing up,” said senior Daniel Seaman, who took first place last year as the character of Jigsaw from the popular “Saw” film franchise. “But having events like Fall Fest and the Costume Dance is a fun opportunity. Both my pumpkin and my costume won prizes at last year’s events!”
With contests, snacks, games, and prizes, these events have become a part of the celebration of spooky season at Dordt.