Fall Festival


Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s 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 more than 1,000 athletes and coaches, and 6,000 volunteers from the Villanova Student Body, surrounding community, and corporations. Athletes compete in a total of six Olympic-type sports including bocce, long distance running, powerlifting, roller skating, soccer and volleyball.

Fall Festival 2019 took place from November 1st – 3rd.

DSC 0484

Congratulation to the athletes, volunteers and members of the Villanova University community that participated in Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s (SOPA) 31st Annual Fall Festival, the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world. The event hosted approximately 1,200 coaches, athletes and Unified Partners representing 43 SOPA programs from Friday, November 1st to Sunday, November 3rd. More than 3,000 volunteers were onsite throughout the weekend.

The Games officially kicked off at Villanova University with Opening Ceremonies in the William B. Finneran Pavilion with special guests: Villanova Basketball Coach Jay Wright, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and SOPA’s newest Celebrity Ambassador, Alex Singleton, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Joe Ostman. The Ceremonies also featured a Unified Basketball skills competition and game between Special Olympics Athletes and the Villanova Wildcats.

 DSC 09911

Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete Israel Scialabba (Beaver County) hit the game-winning shot in overtime of the Unified basketball game with the Villanova Wildcats!

Throughout the weekend SOPA athletes competed in Roller Skating, Soccer, Volleyball, Bocce, Long Distance Running, and Powerlifting. Additionally, the weekend offered Healthy Habits interactive education stations; Healthy Athletes® non-invasive clinical screenings; Young Athletes activities; an “Olympic Town” providing athlete activities in-between sporting events; a Victory Dance; and Closing Ceremonies.


Use the hashtags #SOPAFallFest and #NovaSpO to share your Fall Festival experiences on social media and encourage friends to join in the fun!

Check out Event Photos Below!

2019 Fall Fest Shirt Back 10.11

Fall Festival 2019 Video!