The weather in southern Oklahoma has finally cooled off and area residents will have an opportunity to gather together and enjoy the crisp autumn air this Tuesday. The University Center of Southern Oklahoma will be hosting several events to coordinate with their fall festival.

Events will begin with a ribbon cutting for the center’s one-mile walking trail in the late morning and conclude with a moonrise watch party in the evening.

UCSO president Peggy Maher talked last week about the newly completed walking trail. She talked about the various groups and city departments that contributed to the path that connects with nearly 10 miles of existing walking trails.

“It’s a really great community project,” Maher said.

According to Maher, Ardmore City Schools granted easements to connect the new trail to existing trails, and resources from Ardmore’s Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments were used to complete the work. Maher also said Dolese Bros. Co. donated 250 tons of gravel and the Ardmore Institute of Health provided a $50,000 grant towards the project.

Representatives from many of these entities are expected to begin speaking at 11:30 a.m. and attendees will be invited to be among the first to walk the mile-long trail afterwards.

“You can do that on your lunch hour, easy,” Maher said.

Langston University, one of three colleges at UCSO, will also be holding an open house on Tuesday. Langston started offering a bachelor of nursing degree from its Ardmore location earlier this year and the open house will be to recruit the second class before registration ends on Nov. 1.

Langston University has a successful nursing program with a footprint in Carter County. Maher said one ranking for nursing programs is how successful graduates are at passing their RN exams on the first attempt.

“Langston was number two in the state, and last year number 27 in the nation,” she said.

The open house will coincide with the rest of the fall festival, something Maher said will be open to the public and not just students. Lawn games, food, and music can be expected throughout the afternoon.

Just before the sun goes down, attendees will be invited to stay for a moonrise watch party. Maher, who also worked as an aerospace education specialist for NASA before returning to Oklahoma, had excitement in her voice as she talked about a skywatching party when the moon will be accompanied by Jupiter and Saturn.

“Fall is a good time for a star party because the sun sets so much earlier and it’s not so hot,” she said. According to the National Weather Service in Norman on Saturday, partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the 70s can be expected on Tuesday evening.

The University Center of Southern Oklahoma fall festival will begin at 11:30 a.m. and last through sunset.