The Fall Festival is hosted and organized by Villanova University students and is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world. For one weekend each year, Villanova University opens its campus up to over 1,000 athletes, 400 coaches, and 2,000 volunteers from the Villanova Student Body, surrounding community, and corporations. The athletes who participate in the Fall Festival compete in a total of six Olympic-type sports including bocce, long distance running, power-lifting, roller skating, soccer and volleyball. However, sporting events are just a small component of the overall weekend. Villanova’s campus is transformed into an athlete’s wonderland, incorporating Opening Ceremonies; a parade; Healthy Athlete screenings; an Olympic Town offering face painting, food and fun; a Victory Dance; and Closing Ceremonies. There is no charge to participate in the Fall Festival or in any other Special Olympics event. All housing and meals for the weekend are provided by Villanova University and Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
The event requires 2,000 volunteers from the Villanova University student body, corporate organizations and the surrounding community.
Spectators are encouraged to visit any of the competition venues on or near campus and cheer on athletes at Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s second largest event of the year.
Fall Festival was held from November 4 - 6, 2016.
2016 Fall Fest Recap
Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s (SOPA) Fall Festival returned to Villanova University for the 28th consecutive year, November 4-6, 2016, and welcomed approximately 1,200 coaches, athletes and Unified Partners representing 39 Pennsylvania local Programs. Participants competed in bocce, long distance running/walking, powerlifting, roller skating, soccer (individual skills, 5v5, 7v7, 11v11), and volleyball (team & individual skills). Villanova’s campus,located at 800 E. Lancaster Avenue, was transformed to match a “Journey Around the World” theme and feature Opening Ceremonies with live entertainment including Melmark's hand-bell choir, the Joybells. In addition, the weekend featured a Law Enforcement Torch Run kick-off at Citizens Bank Park, Healthy Athletes® programs, an “Olympic Town” festival offering athlete activities in-between sporting events, a Victory Dance and Closing Ceremonies.
Special thanks are extended to all of the athletes, coaches, volunteers and Villanova University students who helped make our Fall Festival the best yet! Check out the awesome video Villanova Television created to capture the weekend’s thrill of competition and joy of victory.
Click here to view Villanova University's website
Check Out Fall Fest 2016 PhotosCourtesy ofSpecial Olympics Villanova (SpO)
Fall Festival Results:
Check Out Our Media Coverage:
Delaware County Times (Official Media Partner)
Athletes feel the love at Special Olympics Fall Festival
Cheers fill the air as Special Olympics opens at Villanova
Special Olympics Fall Festival set at Villanova
Villanova’s Annual Fall Festival Is Underway
2016 Philadelphia Insurance Award of Valor
Pictured above is our Philadelphia Insurance Award winner Julia Booz (at center) with her brother Ryan, father Skip, mother Kim and Coach Monica Lepore.
The Fall Festival Achievement Award, presented by Philadelphia Insurance, recognizes the athlete who may not necessarily win a medal at the Festival, but their effort, determination and sportsmanship is award-winning and inspirational. Each year, we recognize the power of the human spirit to overcome challenges and to inspire greatness. This year’s award was presented to Julia Booz from Chester County.
Julia was one of the 9 founding members of her local program’s soccer team, and is now competing in her 7th season. Even though she lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she perseveres through many changes in her schedule with bravery. Her determination to always “do the right thing” makes her a leader and role model for her other 25 teammates. She enjoys saying the Special Olympics Athlete Oath, doing warm-ups, and playing in games and scrimmages.
Julia always encourages others and is a pleasure to coach. She is an inspiration to all due to her hard work, determination and positive demeanor.