A tradition continues with Thanksgiving Weekend

Participants in the 2011 Howard Hustle Two-Mile Run/Walk start the race during the Thanksgiving Weekend tradition at Hesston College.

Hesston College will host its 45th annual Thanksgiving Weekend: A Family Celebration Nov. 22 to 24. The public is invited to attend several events that have become an annual Hesston College tradition.

The weekend lineup includes activities for all ages, including a traditional Thanksgiving meal, music concerts, a talent show, men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, a two-mile run/walk and a luminary walk at Dyck Arboretum.

“We welcome anyone who is interested in experiencing Hesston’s community or just wants to take part in the many fun events,” said Dallas Stutzman, director of Alumni and Church Relations.

Hesston students come to campus from 29 states and 15 countries, and with Christmas break following only three weeks after Thanksgiving, going home for both holidays is difficult for many students. Instead of going home for Thanksgiving, the Hesston event brings students’ families to them, giving them the chance to experience the Hesston College community.

“Thanksgiving is a weekend for high school-aged siblings of our students to visit their brother or sister at college, stay in the dorms, meet their friends and get a glimpse of the Hesston Experience,” said Vice President of Admissions Rachel Swartzendruber Miller. “We want all of our students’ families to feel connected to Hesston and to their students’ experience.”

Prospective students and their parents can explore what Hesston has to offer and meet faculty during a majors exhibition from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 in the Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center on the Hesston College campus, and enjoy the fun of the campus community during activities like the annual talent show.

Other weekend events of special interest include the Thanksgiving buffet prepared by Hesston College Food Service and hosted by faculty and staff members. The dinner will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22 in Bontrager Student Center. Reservations are required.

The music department will host several free performances throughout the weekend, including a choral masterworks concert of Mozart’s Solemn Vespers alongside traditional and contemporary anthems will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22 at Hesston Mennonite Church.

The Hesston College Bel Canto Singers, Chorale and Concert Band will perform works from their fall repertoire at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 at Hesston Mennonite Church.

Voice and acting students will perform a collection of musical theatre songs and scenes during a Cabaret Music Revue at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 in the Northlawn Studio Theatre. Admission is free but tickets are required as seating is limited. Call the Hesston College Bookstore at 620-327-8105 to reserve tickets.

Students, faculty and staff will display their talents through song, skits and video at a 10 p.m. talent show Nov. 22 at Hesston Mennonite Church.

Seasoned and casual runners and walkers can work off their Thanksgiving feasts during the  21st annual Howard Hustle two-mile run/walk at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 23. An early entry fee of $20 is being offered to registrants before Nov. 15. The fee after Nov. 15 is $25. Entry fees cover t-shirts and a chip timer for each participant. Proceeds will be donated to the Hesston College Labyrinth Project. Individuals may donate a gift to the Labyrinth Project without participating in the run. Medals will be given to overall and age group winners, and several door prizes will be available to participants as well. Registration information can be found online at hesston.edu. Howard Hustle results

The men’s and women’s basketball teams will host Northern Oklahoma College-Enid, Central Christian (McPherson, Kan.) junior varsity, Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.) junior varsity and Southeast Community College (Beatrice, Neb.) for the Thanksgiving Classic sponsored by The Twisted Cow in Newton, Kan., Nov. 23 and 24.

A complete weekend schedule and registration information can be found on the Hesston College website at hesston.edu or by calling the Special Events office at 866-437-7866 or 620-327-8109.