By: S-Corps Leadership Team Members Sal Beeby, Stefano Hurtado, Tyler LeBoa
The autumn equinox – meaning “equal night” in Latin – occurs once a year and marks the first day of fall. On the equinox, we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. After this, the days start to become shorter and the nights become longer. Around the world, different cultures gather around traditions that acknowledge the balance and transition represented in the equinox.
This year, S-Corps put together a festival for O’Dowd students centered around this natural event. The concept was a carnival-style festival that would be held on the baseball field during a home football game, with the purpose of spreading information about the environment, as well as celebrate and have a good time. Through awareness of the equinox, S-Corps also hoped to strengthen students’ and parents’ connection to sustainability and to the natural environment (such as O’Dowd’s own Living Lab). With activities such as nature-based art, relay races, cornhole, a petting zoo, and an informational booth, the Fall Equinox Festival was both purposeful and enjoyable.
Fall Equinox Festival
For those who love to have fun in the sun, the cornhole and relay race booths were a hit. Students practiced their throws and participated in friendly competition as they battled to win the chewy and sweet cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. These treats, along with other prizes, could also be won by answering a environmental trivia question correctly as the trivia prize wheel.
After playing hard and building up a sweat, attendees enjoyed a much-needed snack of pumpkin soup and tomato salsa, both made by students out of Living Lab-grown produce. Others hopped onto the lemonade bike blenders, which used human-powered energy to create refreshing and delicious drinks. Both O’Dowd and the visiting team members loved spending some time in the petting zoo, which included a goat, bunnies, and chickens. The animals were also a huge hit with the little ones, who could not wait to hold the fluffy animals. Another popular booth was the art table, where people could paint their faces and get creative with natural, plant-based arts and crafts.
During halftime of the varsity football game, the S-Corps Student Leadership Team went out to the 50 yard line to present the crowd with the school’s most recent environmental award: The Green Ribbon Award. This is the highest level of achievement in environmental education given to a select number of schools by the US Department of Education. Following the presentation of the award, two fall harvest raffle baskets were awarded to two lucky fans (who had received raffle tickets for attending the equinox festival) filled with produce from the Living Lab and salsa made from tomatoes in the Living Lab.
In conclusion, the very first annual Fall Equinox festival was a huge success. Thank you to all that helped out in any way!