The Return of a Rider tradition: Cranberry Fest

By Aaliyah Patel

One of Rider’s longest-running campus traditions, Cranberry Fest, returned for a full-in person experience on Sept. 18 for the entire university.

Since 1979, Rider has celebrated Cranberry Fest as an honorable mention to Andrew J. Rider, the university’s founder. This year, the university went above and beyond to make the event as interactive as possible.

Students were accompanied by two inflatable bouncy castles, DJ performances, the Bronc Bites food truck and an outdoor movie showing of “Monsters University” on the residence quad.

There was also an abundance of sweet and savory dinner and dessert items including beef soft shell tacos, vegetarian and sausage paella, chicken, blondies and chocolate chip cookies. To wash the food down, there were sodas, Brisk lemon iced tea and a Cranberry Harvest party with seasonal beverages for those who were 21 years or older.

The campus mall also featured information sessions for the Rider Votes team, encouraging them to sign up for future events.

Jahliyah Lewis, a freshman criminal justice major, was one of the students passing out Constitution pamphlets during the celebration.

“We want to let people know what their rights are as voters and educate members of the Rider community on a day like this,” Lewis said. “We’re also promoting our Rider Votes community service program, as it’s a great way to get students actively involved.”

Students utilized the campus mall with a strategic approach of adding educational resources to continue to encourage active involvement throughout the semester.

Katie Blanton, a senior arts and entertainment management major and member of the Student Entertainment Council (SEC), was one of the students coordinating the inflatables.

“It is so exciting that the Rider community is finally together. It’s so great seeing people out, coming to the events, and kick off the year,” Blanton said. “We have leaps and bounds, we have a gladiator joust, an obstacle course and a whole variety of fun activities.”

All attending patrons were given a free t-shirt that stated “Go Broncs” as a token of school pride.

Joan Liptrot, director of service and civic engagement, is one of the many people who are proud to be a part of the Rider community.

“We just found out that Rider was named one of the country’s best colleges for voting in the Washington monthly. We are one of the few institutions to have this distinction and that is exciting,” Liptrot said.

Cranberry Fest is an event that Rider will continue to host every year as the tradition lives on.

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