By Ethan Shea
On this upcoming weekend, from Nov. 5 to 7, Villanova University will host the 33rd Annual Fall Festival and Special Olympics. More than 1000 athletes and several thousand more volunteers, spectators, and coaches will be in attendance.
The Fall Festival and Special Olympics are traditions that have been a part of Villanova University for decades. Since 1979, when Villanova hosted the Eastern State Soccer Tournament for the first time, the event has only grown. In fact, the Festival is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world, so don’t miss out!
The very first athletic event will be the Unified Fall Festival Torch Run, which begins on Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. This non-competitive race is a marathon-distance run stretching 26.2 miles from XFINITY Live! Philadelphia to Villanova University. The event will finish at about 3 p.m. For more specifics about the order and time of events, click here.
Villanova’s version of the Olympic Village, known as “O-Town,” will reach all the way from Bartley Hall to the Oreo, making for a massive gathering of enthusiastic athletes and volunteers. Everyone is sure to be in good spirit as they cheer for the athletes participating in the six sporting events taking place during the Fall Festival this year: bocce, long-distance running, power-lifting, roller skating, soccer, and volleyball.
You can check out some throwbacks to past Special Olympics on the Falvey’s Digital Library or the Third Floor Stacks of Falvey in a display case curated by University Archivist Beaudry Rae Allen. Read this blog if you want to see the exhibit from the comfort of your home!
To learn more about these Special Olympics and all the effort that goes into hosting them, browse the event’s official website here. One of the most critical aspects of the Fall Festival is that it is carried out with no cost to the athletes, so if you are able to support the event, you have the opportunity to donate at the previous link.
Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.