Pumpkin season brings savory celebration

Deliciousness abounds as SPA predicts talent exuding from the stage on McNally lawn.


Jacob Knopf/ THE CHIMES

Samantha Gassaway, Writer

Autumn has arrived, and with it came certain societal pumpkin elements that define the season: pumpkin patches, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin carvings — and for Biola students: Punk N’ Pie, the annual school-wide talent show.

A few new tricks

Punk N’ Pie entertains the Biola community once again on Friday, Oct. 28, with a few new twists despite the continuation of its outside venue on the McNally Field.

Student Programming and Activities hosts the event each year, and last year it was hosted on McNally Field lawn for the first time. It proved such a success they decided to use the same location again. Even though the staff did worry over the inconvenience of navigating the construction site partially blocking McNally field, they troubleshot the problem by deciding to have their own workers act as traffic guides for the crowd and to post directional signs.

“It makes it feel like more of a fall event, and it actually allows more people to be able to attend the show,” said Alyson Hakes, SPA student events coordinator. “It feels like more of a community event. It’s fun to be able to be outside and enjoy that.”

Not without concern

Senior psychology major and Bluff senator Becca Olguin also expressed concern over the construction on McNally Field for students as well as parents and relatives visiting for Family Weekend.

“If there’s any family members that need any more accessibility, then they would have to go through the parking lot, so that would be rough,” Olguin said.

Hakes also confirmed they have added a few extra elements to the evening to enhance the experience, such as organizing the acts into a story and implementing an after-show bonfire. Doing this will allow the event to feel more cohesive, according to Hakes.

Deep-rooted traditions

As usual, SPA will provide a massive amount of pumpkin pie, having already ordered upwards of about 300 pies, according to Hakes. In line with student leadership, while SPA is dedicated to planning the event and treating students, SGA has focused its efforts on broadcasting and advertising to their constituents.

As a transfer senior, Olguin admits she may have a small bias toward wanting to attend on-campus events, since she missed them her first two years at community college. This year’s Punk N’ Pie will be her first and last.

“It’ll be the first and last time I’ll go, so it’s kind of sad, as a senior. I’m just tired, but as a second-year at Biola, I’m excited because I didn’t see it last year,” Olguin said. “I know there’s probably going to be a lot of music. It’s kind of hard because skits can really flop, but I would really like to see a lot of skits that could be entertaining but still Biola-appropriate.”

Heat Speaks was last year’s victorious team, comprised of several men living on Heat, a men’s floor in Hart Hall. The men performed a satirical multi-media art presentation with elements such as painting, spoken word, interpretive dance and music. Cary Santa Ana, senior music composition major and a member of Heat Speaks, describes the team’s preparation more so in the sphere of the ridiculous than serious preparation.

We were definitely very nervous as we were watching actual acts, actual skilled people and good performers. We were just like, ‘Oh no, this is going to be very weird. We don’t know how they’re going to respond to it,’” Santa Ana said. “I didn’t expect the audience to like us.”

Brendan Ashley, senior English major, participated in Heat Speak’s act and advises hopeful winners to prepare for little to no audience participation, not allowing their influence to change the act whatsoever.

“We practiced a couple times. We just continued to channel our inner absurdity,” Ashley said. “It was a thing for us just to be the comic relief, maybe intermission that people could walk out on… Maybe some advice would be, for contenders that they should enjoy your act. Go up and have fun.”

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