Late Night Country Fair Fosters Community Spirit


Students enjoy cotton candy at Colgate’s Late Night Country Fair, which was put on by a variety of student organizations.

Lauren Hutton, Maroon-News Staff

It’s not every day the Academic Quad is taken over by a massive, yellow-striped circus tent, but that’s exactly what Colgate’s third annual Late Night Country Fair entailed. 

From 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday, September 2, the hard work of the Juggling Club, the ‘Gate Night Event Planning Committee (‘Gate Night), Crafter’s Club, Colgate Christian Fellowship and the Mantiphondrakes came together to put on a night of carnival festivities. Chapel groups first ran the fair in 2015, but now ‘Gate Night organizes the event. 

The logistics of the fair were also organized by the Colgate Christian Fellowship over the course of the past month.

“There’s actually a lot that goes into planning an event like this even though most people don’t realize it. Thinking about performers, tents, schedules, food, games and prizes requires a great deal of work and coordination,” ‘Gate Night advisor and Center for Leadership and Student Involvement Coordinator Marsha Collett said. 

By involving a variety of student organizations, the county fair was able to attract a large crowd and provide an entertaining experience.

“As a programming committee, [‘Gate Night] is tasked with designing events that create natural collaborations between existing student groups on campus. It can be challenging to organize, but the events end up appealing to a wider variety of students if we offer different activities such as performances, crafts and dancing,” Collett said.

After countless rounds of ring toss, bottle knock-out games, tug of war and competitive potato sack races, students and faculty enjoyed hot dogs, popcorn, cupcakes and cotton candy. At the end of the night, they also participated in Bingo for the chance to win gift cards to local restaurants and eateries. 

Dancing proved a favorite activity as a caller led students through “do-si-dos” and partner swings while a live band played. 

“The contra and square dancing is always a fun way for students to meet others and try something new. I love to see their faces light up when they make a connection and realize they can, in actuality, dance despite not believing so initially,” Collett said.

“It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve never seen square dancing before so that was pretty cool,” first-year Victoria Peluf said.

The band behind the upbeat atmosphere of the night included two Colgate staff members: Cataloging Manager Adger Williams and Staff Counselor Susan Nolen. By including Colgate staff, ‘Gate Night hoped to provide a sense of community on campus.

“It really picked up; I didn’t expect this. The sack races and the tug of war were fun. I didn’t expect everyone to come to it, but we had a group come out of East [Hall] and they really bolstered the event. It made it a lot more fun and more interesting the more people we got,” junior Eli Bergen said. 

Ultimately, the inclusion of students from a variety of class years with differing interests created a memorable night that was arguably the most successful Country Fair to date.

Contact Lauren Hutton at [email protected]