“Remember, remember, the fifth of November!”

Guy Fawkes Night [or Bonfire Night], a distinguished United Kingdom tradition, was the theme on the Keene State College campus Tuesday evening, November 5. ‘KSC Bonfire Night’ was put on by members of the KSC Global Culture Club.

A myriad of excited students gathered in the cold on the volleyball court behind the Spaulding Gym for hot chocolate, baked potatoes, caramel apples, the warmth of a bonfire and a bit of UK tradition.

Amie Gagnon, junior and president of KSC Global Culture Club, offered sparklers, treats and some free culture to students arriving at the event. “It’s a bit of extra culture for us. We thought it’d be fun and it’d also make the English students feel a bit more at home,” Gagnon said.

Not only did this event help KSC students become more culturally knowledgeable, it also honored a tradition for some of our exchange students who are miles from their homes.

Steph McCann / Equinox Staff: The KSC Global Culture Club organized a bonfire in honor of the failed plan Guy Fawkes once had to assassinate King James of England in 1605.

Steph McCann / Equinox Staff: The KSC Global Culture Club organized a bonfire in honor of the failed plan Guy Fawkes once had to assassinate King James of England in 1605.

Heather Cook, an exchange student in her third year at York St. John University, was thrilled to hear about KSC Bonfire Night.

“I remember this ever since I was a child. We got the whole community together and we’d have a big bonfire with fireworks and sparklers,” Cook said, “It’s really special. I was excited to share this with everyone.”

KSC Global Culture Club’s main goal is to promote and embrace diversity across campus by spreading different types of culture and awareness, according to the Keene State Global Education Office website.

The group, which meets every other Thursday in the L.P. Young Student Center, is known for planning events that revolve around acquainting exchange students to the KSC community through events and various trips around New England.

Nick Swain, a sophomore at KSC, recognized the importance of these types of events.

“Well, I was on my way to the library when I stumbled upon this,” Swain said, “It’s great! We have our Halloween, Thanksgiving and other traditions. It would only make sense that we do the same thing for our exchange students.”

There was free food and lots of laughter to be shared by the KSC Bonfire Night’s array of attendees.

Gagnon made sure everyone was equipped with a sparkler as each guest participated in a sparkler lighting circle of celebration.

Friends gathered around the fire for warmth in appreciation of the UK tradition. Some students, though, like sophomore Julie Flynn, simply attended the event for different reasons, only to find much more.

“I heard there was hot chocolate,” Flynn said, laughing while lighting a sparkler.

Sophomore Amy Donovan had a similar experience.

“I originally thought this was a bonfire with free food and friends,” Donovan said, “but it turned out to have such a deeper meaning, which is great.”

In 1605, a man named Guy Fawkes and his group schemed to bomb the UK’s Parliament and ultimately assassinate King James I of England.

Students who showed up had the opportunity to chat with the UK exchange students as well as members of the KSC Global Culture Club to learn more about the history of the Fifth of November.

“This makes us more aware of diversity and I think it’ll open up people’s eyes,” Donovan said.


Steph McCann can be contacted at smccann@ksc.keene.edu

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