Harvest Dinner 2014 Cancelled

Students devastated by the loss of a favorite fall event

Washington and Lee’s Marketplace has been stricken by what many in the student body are calling a travesty. The annual tradition of the W&L Fall Harvest Dinner, which normally happens around this time of year, has been called off.

“I’m really upset that there’s no Harvest Dinner,” said Emma Buckle ’17. “It was my favorite part of the D-Hall experience, and I loved trying all the food the local eateries brought in. I’m very disappointed it’s not coming back!”

Sarah Board, ’16, added, “A lot of students look forward to the Harvest Dinner each year, so we’re all really disappointed that it’s not happening.”

The Harvest Dinner has traditionally been the largest Marketplace event during each school year. Dining Services staff worked with local farmers and chefs to showcase produce from the Shenandoah Valley, as well as a few restaurant courses.

The dinner fostered a deeper sense of community between the campus and Rockbridge County at large. Not only did the student body come out in full force, but many local residents also joined in the festivities.

“I was so upset to hear that Harvest Dinner was cancelled,” said Carolyn Petrie, ’15. “We live among many farms and wonderful local food is more available than many people realize. The dinner and the connection with the community will definitely be missed by many of the students.”

According to members of Dining Hall staff, it was cancelled this year because of a shift in management. The new Head of Dining Services chose not to organize such a large event amidst all the changes in dining structure that are already going on.

These changes include a much higher quality daily fare, so assembling the dinner on top of this focus was unrealistic for this year, according to many staff members.

Michael Zanie from Dining Services explained, “The dining services this year is focused on providing, local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients as a matter of course every day [rather than just at one dinner].”

Students are hopeful, however, that it will return in full force next year.

Lindsey Gilbert, ’16, said: “I hope it comes back. This is hands down the best dinner event at Washington and Lee and such an opportunity for the Lexington community to come together and celebrate.”

Dining Services has hinted that it will indeed be returning next year. They want it to resemble Harvest Dinner 2007, which featured the involvement of campus departments, student groups and local farmers.