Holiday Movies

Whether it’s at home with family, or snuggled up with hot chocolate and a blanket in your dorm room, there is something special about watching movies that celebrate the holidays. Students around campus were asked to submit their favorite holiday movie they watch every year. From classics to current, these suggestions will leave you without question on what you need to watch this season.

Hocus Pocus- Katie McCorkle

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Home Alone – Brooke Rayburn

Elf – Landon Porter

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Rebekah Drennon

The Polar Express – Sharda James

Christmas in Connecticut – Victoria Marshal

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – Misty Jones

White Christmas – Rebekah Drennon

Die Hard – Austin Powers

Original Ghost Busters / New Years – Misty Jones

2nd Annual Texarkana Fall Festival

The second annual downtown Fall Festival, organized by local women’s organization Diva Maintenance, was held Saturday, October 28 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This year’s festival consisted of a costume contest, live bands, vendors, a bounce house, and the infamous Texarkana Flash Mob.  With over 30 contestants, the costume contest was a big hit. The winner was baby girl, Ximena Ortiz, dressed as an owl.

Due to the cold front and the forecast for rain, this year’s festival only saw about half the attendance of last year’s event.  Last year, the attendance reached over 4,000.  The weather caused vendors to back out at the last minute and the vendors who braved the cold didn’t hang in until the 8 p.m. closing time.  As the crowd dwindled, the vendors began shutting down around 5:30 p.m.

The event organizer, Diva Maintenance, also organizes various food festivals downtown such as the Catfish Festival and the Back Alley Food Court.

Tameka Grady, a spokeswoman for Diva Maintenance, said, “We are already working to make the 2018 Fall Festival bigger and better.”

Photos provided by:  Tameka Grady



Fright Night: Games for Halloween

Looking for a way to celebrate Halloween from the comfort of your own home? Here are two games (neither for the faint of heart) you might consider picking up to play – The Evil Within and Friday the 13th the Game!

The Evil Within (Released in 2014)

Rated Mature (17+) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Strong Language

The Evil Within is a 2014 Third Person Survival Horror game developed by Tango Gameworks and Published by Bethesda Softworks.

You play as Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who has been separated from his team and transported to a nightmarish mindscape after arriving on the scene of an apparent mass murder at Beacon Mental Hospital. The game takes place over several Chapters, wherein you’ll attempt to sneak and survive as you progress through various areas populated by all manner of hostile monster. The Evil Within takes this a step further by introducing you to various special monsters who act as a sort of flavor-of-the-week for a time, impeding your progress until you eventually face it in a straight on fight and defeat it.

If you’re in the mood for something you can play on your own, consider giving The Evil Within a try! If you’re not able to pick it up, there’s a wealth of footage of it on YouTube and surely no shortage of streamers on Twitch that will be playing it for the evening. However, if you have already played it, they just released the games sequel, The Evil Within 2!

Friday the 13th the Game

Rated Mature (17+) for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes and Strong Language

Friday the 13th the Game is an Asymmetrical Multiplayer Survival Horror game developed by IllFonic and published by Gun Media. Seven survivors must work together to secure various means of escape from a player controlling the iconic Jason Voorhees, who must systematically hunt down and kill  the seven survivors. The game uses a unique audio system wherein survivors may communicate over long distances using radios but they must be mindful of what they say, as the player controlling Jason can hear both ends of the conversation if he is near one of the two.

The games tense and often frantic atmosphere makes it a great game to play with friends and perfect for the Halloween festivities. It is not, however, a game you may enjoy for long periods simply watching.

Origins of Halloween

It’s that time of the year again.  It’s time for pumpkin carving, trick or treating, costumes, and family fun.  But, why do we celebrate Halloween?  Where did this tradition start?

The holiday’s roots began around 2,000 years ago with the Celtic festival called Samhain.  The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1.  They believed that the day before the new year, on October 31, the veil between the living and the dead weakened and ghosts could cross over to walk the earth.  This day became known as All Hallows Eve.

On All Hallows Eve, the Celts would leave food and wine on their doorsteps to keep the spirits at bay.  If they left the house, they would wear masks.  They felt the masks helped them to blend in with the dead.  The Celts also believed that the presence of ghosts made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.  With the long, dark, and cold winter ahead, this was important for the Celts.

To celebrate All Hallows Eve, Druids would build bonfires, dress in costumes, and attempt to tell each other’s future.  Following the bonfire, they would light their fireplace, using embers from the bonfire, to protect them through the long, hard winter.

After the Celtics were conquered by the Romans, in 43 A.D., two Roman festivals were combined with the Celtic celebration of Samhain.  The celebration of Feralia, which was a festival to celebrate the passing of the dead; and the day to honor Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees, were both added to the Celtic celebration of Samhain. It is believed that today’s tradition of bobbing for apples came from the Roman day to honor Pomona.

In 1000 A.D., after the spread of Christianity to Celtic lands, the church would declare November 2, as All Souls Day, a day to honor the dead.  All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain.  The church would host big bonfires, have parades, and dress up in costumes of angels, saints, and devils.  The night before this celebration was still called All Hallows Eve, and then eventually, Halloween.

Once in America, the colonists’ beliefs mixed with that of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians.  This resulted in an American version of Halloween; which included, parties, events to celebrate the harvest, stories of the dead, fortune-telling, dancing, and singing.

In the late nineteenth century, when America began to fill with immigrants from all over the world, the celebration of Halloween became popular nationwide.  Americans wore costumes and went door to door asking for food and money.  A tradition that later evolved in to today’s trick or treating.

After the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both adults and children, with food, games, and festive costumes, became the primary way to celebrate the holiday.  Today’s Halloween festivities are a mixture of Celtic, Roman, and early American All Hallows Eve traditions that have evolved into a booming business, bringing in an estimated $6 billion a year.  Halloween is the country’s second largest commercial holiday, after Christmas.