A long-running Holland and Hope College tradition is adding a unique dimension this year.
As in the past, the annual Hope-Holland Community Day, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8, will feature a picnic on WindmillIsland and a home football game at Holland Municipal Stadium. For only the third time in the event's 42-year history, however, the game will be played under the lights. The picnic will run at the island from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by the game beginning at 7 p.m.
The first time that Hope played a night game at home was during Community Day in September 1997, when the event was held in conjunction with the city's sesquicentennial celebration, and Hope also played at night during Community Day in 2000. Hope's only other home night game was a pre-regular-season exhibition game in 1999, when the college hosted the team from the Autonomous University of Mexico.
The picnic at Windmill Island will consist of bratwurst, hamburger, sliced turkey breast, vegetarian croissants, salads, chips, cookies, beverages and other picnic fare. Live music will be provided throughout the picnic by the Holland American Legion Band.
Hope will host Central College of Pella, Iowa, at the stadium following the picnic, in a contest between sister schools from a shared tradition. Both Central and Hope are affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, and Central and Hope football are known as the Dutch and the Flying Dutchmen respectively.
The Zeeland High School marching band will be playing at the game.
Also on Saturday, Sept. 8, Hope will host home games in both women's and men's soccer. The women will play St. Mary's at noon, and the men will play Wheaton at 2 p.m. Both games will be at the college's Buys Athletic Fields, located on Fairbanks Avenue at 11th Street. Admission to the soccer games is free.
In addition, the gallery of the De Pree Art Center will be featuring the exhibition "Artist/Designer" through Friday, Oct. 5. The gallery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.
Community Day is scheduled in celebration of the long-standing relationship between Holland residents and the faculty, students and staff of HopeCollege. The event debuted in October 1966 as a Community Ox Roast, held in conjunction with the HopeCollege centennial celebration. Like the first event, which was the idea of former mayor Nelson Bosman, subsequent Community Days have provided an opportunity for Holland and Hope to come together.
Tickets for Community Day, which include the picnic, football game and admission to WindmillIsland, cost $7 for regular admission and $4 for children age five to 11, with admission free for children under five.
Advance tickets for Community Day may be purchased at the college's DeVos Fieldhouse, located facing Fairbanks Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will also be sold at the picnic on the day of the event. Additional information may be obtained by calling the college's Office of Public and Community Relations at (616) 395-7860.
In the event of rain, the picnic will be moved to the dining room of Phelps Hall, located on the HopeCollege campus on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street. If the picnic is moved inside, announcements will be made on the college's Web site, www.hope.edu/hopetoday/; on Hope's automated audio information system, which can be called at (616) 395-7888; and on area radio stations.