Community creepin’

Ferris Halloween activities and downtown Fall Festival bring Big Rapids and student community together

Halloween Festivities: Joe Nodge and Steve Jones sport green and red man suits recognizable from the TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Photo By: Brock Copus | Photographer
Halloween Festivities: Joe Nodge and Steve Jones sport green and red man suits recognizable from the TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Photo By: Brock Copus | Photographer
Halloween in Big Rapids this year will not just be a time of fun and fright, but also a chance to show how the Ferris and the Big Rapids community are a part of each other.

Ferris Hosts Halloween is an event happening in the campus quad on Oct. 30. Students and community members alike will be able to come on Halloween eve from 5 to 9 p.m. for events such as experiments by the American Chemical Society, pumpkin painting, and costume contests. Registered student organizations will also be there with information tables.

Community members will also be able to trick-or-treat in various residence halls, including Clark, Hallisy, Vandercook, Helen Ferris, and Carlisle. Clark Hall President Justin Cooper encourages families to come out for a night of safe fun.

“We would like to stress that this is a safe place for parents to bring their children and not have to worry,” said Cooper.

In addition to the trick-or-treating, the various halls will each have activities to offer, such as games in Helen Ferris, arts and crafts in Hallisy and Vandercook, and a haunted house in Clark.

Downtown Big Rapids will also take part in the Halloween festivities with the annual Fall Festival on Oct. 29 and 30. Just as Ferris Hosts Halloween’s goal is to make all community members welcome, the Fall Festival hopes to draw non-students and students alike.

Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Activities Allissa Witucki emphasized this desire, especially since many student groups are involved with festival activities

“We have 22 different student organizations helping with the Fall Festival games, so there will be a lot of students involved with the Fall Festival on Saturday,” said Witucki. “We are the same community and it is great that so many students are interested in helping with the children’s games.

Festival activities will proceed for two days. Friday will include a chili cook-off in the city hall parking lot along with Bulldog Radio providing entertainment. There will also be the telling of the Legend of the Dog Man.

Saturday activities begin at 10:30 a.m. with a costume parade in which all can compete for Buffalo Wild Wings Coupons, inflatables on Michigan Avenue, children’s games, a pumpkin rolling contests with local celebrities, and the carving of a massive pumpkin by Pumpkin Ed.

“Students would enjoy both days’ activities,” said Witucki. “The Legend of the Dog Man is a known legend around Big Rapids and I hear it is quite a scary story! Also, the free chili testing would be something students would enjoy.”

Both events promise to be a time of community involvement and a reminder that Ferris depends greatly on the community.

“We as students should be helping out in the local area. After all, we live here too. Some students may see Ferris as ‘all-inclusive’, but many use a variety of off-campus resources. The community provides these services,” said Cooper. “We, Ferris students, need to make sure we appreciate what we have and take from the community. I think that it’s only right to give back.”

Fall Festival Committee Chair Gretchen Spedowske also noted that Ferris does stay involved, and recognized that Ferris is not a separate community, but in fact a part of the Big Rapids community.

“Ferris plays a big role in the Big Rapids community. Many of the staff and faculty live in the area and have a vested interest in the community. It is in the best interest for everyone to work together,” said Spedowske. “The Big Rapids community would like to see the Ferris community look at Big Rapids as their home too by taking pride in the community.”

For more information, contact Allissa Witucki at and Justin Cooper at n