Gearing up for annual Thanksgiving Weekend activities


Hesston College will host its 49th annual Thanksgiving Weekend celebration Nov. 24 to 26. The public is invited to attend several events for all ages that have become Hesston College traditions.

Hesston’s Thanksgiving Weekend allows students’ families and prospective students a glimpse of the Hesston Experience and community. Prospective students are welcome for a full campus visit weekend, including a prospective student orientation on Thursday, Nov. 24.

A complete weekend schedule and registration information can be found on the Hesston College website at or by calling the Student Development office at 620-327-8235 or the Admissions Office at 800-995-2757.

Weekend event highlights include:

  • The annual Thanksgiving evening Masterworks concert will feature Hesston College choirs, community participants and a full orchestra for “A Downton Abbey Christmas,” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 24, in the Hesston Mennonite Church sanctuary. The 75-minute concert pairs the story line of the popular British show with choral and orchestral music from post-Edwardian England. The concert is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for Hesston College students. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the Hesston College Bookstore, 620-327-8104.
  • Prior to the concert at 6:40 p.m., in the Hesston Mennonite Church sanctuary, will be a viewing of a Christmas episode of “Downton Abbey.”
  • Students, faculty and staff will display their talents through song, skits and video at a 9:45 p.m., talent show Nov. 24, at Hesston Mennonite Church. Admission is free.
  • Seasoned and casual runners and walkers can work off their Thanksgiving feasts during the 25th annual Thanksgiving two-mile run/walk: The Benjamin Bolt, at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 25. An early entry fee of $20 is being offered to registrants by Nov. 17. The fee after Nov. 17 is $25. Participants will receive long-sleeved tech shirts and a race number. Proceeds will be donated to the Hesston College Exercise Science Equipment Project. Individuals may donate a gift to the project without participating in the run. Medals will be given to overall and age group winners along with a chance to win door prizes. Registration information can be found online at
  • The college’s music ensembles, Bel Canto Singers, Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Chamber Orchestra, will perform a showcase concert at 2:30 p.m., Nov. 25, in the Hesston Mennonite Church Sanctuary. Admission is free.
  • A book signing for the new Biblical Literature book, “The Bible as Story” will be at 4 p.m., Nov. 25, in the Minginger Classroom of Keim Center. The book will be available for purchase, and the authors, Marion Bontrager, Michele Hershberger and John Sharp will be present. Bontrager will give a short presentation describing the unique way Hesston College teaches the Bible, the new text that explains the “hooks” and why biblical literacy matters.
  • The Dyck Arboretum of the Plains’ will host its annual luminary walk, a candlelit walk through nature’s beauty with winter holiday displays, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Nov. 25 and 26, with the theme “The Prairie Sleeps.” The walk is $5 for adults, $4 for members, senior citizens and students and $2 for children (15 and younger).
  • The women and men’s basketball teams will host Bethel College JV at 6 and 8 p.m., Nov. 25, and Southeast Community College (Milford, Neb.) on Nov. 26, at 2 and 4 p.m., in Yost Center.