‘Gate Night County Fair: Colgate Gets Country

The second annual ‘Gate Night County Fair gave Colgate students a taste of country living that predominates Central New York.

The second annual ‘Gate Night County Fair gave Colgate students a taste of country living that predominates Central New York.

Kaylie Jensen

Students who attended the ’Gate Night County Fair on Friday, August 26 witnessed a transformation on the academic quad.  This event, sponsored by the Gate Night events committee and Colgate Christian Fellowship, was filled with square dancing, free food and carnival games. Throughout the night there were performances by the Mantiphondrakes, Broad Street Records, the Juggling Club and a local band that is currently looking for a name, but can be heard the first Sunday of every month at Hamilton Bible Fellowship where they play music for square dances that are open to the public.

Both the ’Gate Night events committee and students of the Colgate Christian Fellowship were looking to host a carnival, so rather than celebrate separately the two organizations united. The combination of the groups increased awareness of the event. Although the evening was sponsored by the two specific groups on campus, attendees were from all different social groups.

“It’s been great getting to know people even if they’re not interested in religious life,” sophomore Olivia Heskell said. 

As the carnival games came to a close, country dance caller Bob Nicholson stepped up to begin calling the dances. Band members Sue Nolen, Steven Skollar, Bruce Ward and Adger Williams kept the evening upbeat and fast paced. Many members of the band began playing a few years after college and took a break to raise their kids, but they could not resist coming back to it.

“I think the music draws me in,” Nicholson said.

Anyone participating in the dances could not help but grin and try to keep up with Nicholson’s instructions. In her pink sneakers, Chaplain Office Manager Marsha Collett had no trouble following along. She often attends the Sunday square dances, and was pleased with the outcome of the evening. 

“Around seven or so we had about 100 people,” Collett said. 

The dancing demanded the full

attention of participants. While the crowd was larger, tired participants were able to switch out and take a break in between songs. Thanks to the consistent group of willing dancers, the entertainment was able to perform a multitude of tunes. The ’Gate Night County Fair showed that even in the middle of the academic quad, the Colgate community is always ready to celebrate Hamilton’s country setting.

The ’Gate Night committee is a student run organization. Participants work to facilitate late night options for any and all students. ’Gate Night County Fair is only the first of more to come.