WOC Winter Carnival aspires to outdo Olympic Games

This year’s Winter Carnival will start off with a bang. After a Moogano Special Dinner on Feb. 19, the opening ceremonies will begin in Chapin Hall followed by a parade to Weston Field led by the marching band where there will be a fireworks display. A contra-dance will take place later in the evening at the First Congregational Church as a final welcome to Moogano 1998.

Winter Carnival is traditionally organized by the Williams Outing Club but this year the International Club is also a sponsor. The Moogano theme is built around the Olympic Games which are currently taking place at Nagano, Japan. Williams is the only college to host a carnival which is completely student-run. The three chairpersons this year are Reg Hall ‘98, Abby Ramsden ‘98 and Austin Chang ‘99.

Organizational meetings for Moogano 1998 began in November, but Abby Ramsden ‘98 said most of the organization took place over Winter Study. While the six other NCAA Division I colleges host their own carnivals as well, Ramsden said they are not filled with the many activities that can be found at the Williams carnivals. In years past, said Ramsden, the other teams used to participate in the activities with Williams students. “Unfortunately, the other teams can’t come hang out anymore,” Ramsden said. Coaches now tend to keep their teams focused on the slopes rather than the social component of Winter Carnival.

Winter Carnival has centered around the men and women’s ski team since the tradition first began in 1915. It is a chance for the Williams community to support its ski teams as they compete against the other NCAA Division I college teams. Throughout the season, the ski teams ski against each other at each school’s two-day carnival and are reranked at each one. During the long weekend, there will be buses leaving from Chapin for those wishing to watch their classmates on the slopes. Ramsden said, “We hope people will get out to the slopes as well as participate in the activities on campus.”

Winter Carnival is much more than an opportunity to display school spirit. It is a holiday with which Williams students can do as much, or as little, as they choose. Activities begin on Feb. 20 after the previous night’s opening ceremonies. For those with an athletic inclination, there will be Sumo wrestling, snow volleyball on Baxter Lawn, a broomball tournament and sledding relays. If physical exertion isn’t your style, Moogano 1998 is offering Mah Jong, Origami, Japanese animation movies and a Karaoke lounge.

Despite the lack of snow this year, Moogano 1998 promises to be filled with a wide variety of winter activities aimed to attract the entire Williams community. “It should be a fun weekend,” Ramsden said.