October 19, 2011 8:56:00 AM
The leaves are beginning to change colors, and the pumpkins are in the fields, but if the still-warm temperatures have kept your autumn spirit at bay, Mississippi University for Women has the antidote -- the annual Oktoberfest celebration, which will be held tonight from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The event has become the harbinger of the season and a much-loved campus tradition, according to Symone Bounds, director of the Student Programming Board.
Though usually held on Shattuck Lawn, tonight's festivities will take place inside the W's Pohl Gym due to the possibility of inclement weather. Admission is free and open to the general public, with tickets for special activities priced at 25 cents per ticket. Food vendors will be available.
The evening will kick off with a costume contest, open to both pets and people of all ages. Prizes will be given. Attendees can also enjoy face painting, pie-throwing and "Egg-A-Bowhead," which allows people to throw soft-boiled eggs at members of the W's Lockheart Social Club, known for their conspicuous red hair bows.
At 6:15 p.m., the Masker Washboard Band will take the stage. The band, which was formed in 1967, is made up of members of the university's Masker Honorary Social Club. The Maskers' performance will be immediately followed by live entertainment from United Harmony Gospel Choir and MUW's Elite Modeling Squad.
Oktoberfest will close with a bachelor and bachelorette auction, a light-hearted event sponsored by the Student Government Association and inspired by the popular ABC television shows, "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." Students will be given the opportunity to "bid" on one another for the chance to go out on a date, paid for by the SGA and coupons from local businesses.
Funds raised from the auction will benefit St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson.
Bounds said Oktoberfest gives the community an opportunity to visit the W and interact with students in a fun, carnival-like atmosphere.
Later in the month, on Oct. 27, MUW will host a haunted house at Calloway residence hall on College Street. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Entry is $1, with proceeds benefitting the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer education, research and awareness.
Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.
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