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Equestrian club holds second annual Fall Fun Day at Central Park

The+Grinnell+College+Equestrian+Club+will+host+a+Fall+Fun+Day+on+Sunday+Nov.+2+in+Central+Park.+Photo+by+Abigail+Hanson.
The Grinnell College Equestrian Club will host a Fall Fun Day on Sunday Nov. 2 in Central Park. Photo by Abigail Hanson.
The Grinnell College Equestrian Club will host a Fall Fun Day on Sunday Nov. 2 in Central Park. Photo by Abigail Hanson.

This Sunday, Nov. 2, the Grinnell College Equestrian Club will be holding its second annual Fall Fun Day in Central Park from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Just a few blocks from campus, this location allows college students the opportunity to engage with the local Grinnellians of all ages. The event is free of charge, and includes activities such as face painting, yard games and an obstacle course as well as hot food and drinks with vegan and gluten-free options available.

Unfortunately, there will not be any horses in attendance at this event. Though the club asked the city about bringing horses out, it had concerns about safety and cleanup. However, club presidents Anna Emerson ’20 and Abby Hanson ’21 hope to get the city on board with bringing horses into town for an event in the spring. Despite the absence of horses, there will be activities such as playing horseshoes, along with pumpkin painting for “horse-people” and “non-horse people” alike. “We are trying to make it somewhere between horsey and non-horsey so that anyone can show up and have a good time and they don’t have to be super into horses in order to have fun,” said Emerson.

Last year the club hosted a fall event at the stables they were affiliated with, a relationship that no longer exists. However, this past spring, the club organized an event at Central Park in town which allowed for greater accessibility for both community members and college students. “It is centrally located for people in Grinnell, both at the College and in the community, and we noticed if we host events off campus there tends to be more community turnout … people are more willing to come,” said Emerson. Since it was still cold out, the location also allowed for people to stop in for a coffee and warm up at Saint’s Rest, as well as proximity to the playground for kids to take a break from the event.

The Equestrian Club received great feedback from last year’s events in large part because of the community ties. Hanson described how “the college … has a tenuous relationship with the town at times, so interactions between the town and the college are good.” Turnout from the college and particularly the community has been sizeable at the club’s previous events, with parents of younger children in attendance being grateful about events such as these because they give local kids something to do on the weekends in the community.

The Fall Fun Day is a chance to bring the college and the community together. As Hanson said, “This is an event where members of the college community and town community can have fun in the same place and interact.” With good food (including homemade chili and cookies) and plentiful activities, this is the perfect afternoon retreat for a quick study break to get outside and enjoy all the community of Grinnell has to offer–horses or not.

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