When discussing themes for this week’s Chill Fest, formerly known as Fall Fest, Student Life and Leadership Coordinator Kadisia Archer said one stood out.
“I received a lot of input from students that they’re very highly stressed, and that they would like to connect with one another,” Archer said.
President Towuanna Porter Brannon, in talks with Archer, expressed similar thoughts.
“She wanted it to focus on relaxation-type activities,” Archer said of Brannon. “So we are trying to build it around a time where people could slow down for a second and just connect and relax, and focus on fun ways to relax.”
Archer and Alicia Riley, the College's Special Events manager, have organized a varied list of activities for Monday, Oct. 4 at the Hampton campus and Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Historic Triangle campus in Williamsburg. Events at both campuses begin at noon.
Some of the events at both campuses will be interactive gardening tables presented by a local grower, and Thomas Nelson professors Dr. Charles DeSassure and Dr. Ann Evans, line dancing lessons by a local choreographer, painting rocks with inspirational messages or words, a 360 degree selfie booth, and learning how to make aromatherapy bath salts.
The gardening activity will allow students to learn about soil and receive gardening tips, but there’s also an added component, according to Archer.
“That blends into the fact that we’re trying to create opportunities for students to get involved in our local community,” she said. “We’re hoping this will pique their interest, and we can capture student volunteers who are interested in helping out.”
Events specific to the Hampton campus are singing bowls, which are a form of relaxation. They emit sounds similar to those at a spa, and are used to help clear the mind. Megan Jenifer-Harris will be on hand showing how they work and discussing their benefits. K’bana Blaq will be among the hosts in Hampton where activities will take place in the grassy area between Hastings Hall and the parking lot.
“That’s probably the best way to capture student traffic,” Archer said. “It’s somewhere we’ve never ever used before for programming, but that’s where the students are. We are bringing the event to them.”
The events at the Historic Triangle coincide with the opening of the Virginia Career Works Williamsburg Center, which will be on the first floor of the building. The opening includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving College officials and students.
Also in Williamsburg ChefsGO, the College’s culinary program, will present a demonstration. Students in the program will be creating a fall salad to share with those in attendance. Horse and carriage rides also will be available.
Since Chill Fest is occurring during Hispanic Heritage Month, which is from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, there will be nods to that also. There will be a dessert tasting from numerous Hispanic countries, a local artist will be on hand for a painting project focused on Hispanic heritage, there will be stations set up to make maracas and Eye of God symbols, both of which are part of the Hispanic culture, and flags from Spanish-speaking countries will be on display. A disc jockey will be playing a mixture of Hispanic and popular music.
Whether you're in Hampton or Williamsburg on Oct. 4, Chill Fest will give you a chance to take at least a few minutes out of the day to relax.