On October 18th, hundreds of students, faculty and staffed followed a tradition that began in 1875 in order to celebrate Berea’s annual Mountain Day celebration.
Mountain Day began with a sunrise hike starting at 6:30 am, with the Berea Concert Choir greeting the sunrise with music on the East Pinnacle. Events and activities, coordinated by the Student Life office, provided entertainment throughout the day.
In addition to hiking to the Pinnacles in the Berea College Forest, Mountain Day activities included games and contests sponsored by various campus organizations and student clubs along with favorites such as face-painting and dying t-shirts. Music was provided by campus student groups such as the Black Music Ensemble, Bluegrass Ensemble, Choir, and others, along with dance performances featuring Hip-Hop, Latino, Middle-Eastern, South Asian Fusion and the Berea College Country Dancers reflecting the many cultures served by Berea College. Treats such as Ale-8 drinks, kettle corn, and cotton candy were available throughout most of the day.
Berea’s Mountain Day is a College holiday set aside for “enjoying the fall colors and other natural wonders” in the Berea College Forest. In the early years of celebrating Mountain Day, students would dress up and hike up the mountain. Eventually, the dress code became less formal and more casual. Originally wagons transported the students to the Indian Fort Mountain, where students took excursions to the Pinnacles with their faculty and labor departments. Various contests called “Pioneer games”—some of which continue— included log chopping, log tossing and crosscut saw competition, all of which uniquely represent the Appalachian culture embraced by Berea College.
View a collection of photos from the day’s festivities below. See more photos on our Facebook page here.