Are you ready for the best weekend of the century? Then get excited for the Williams College Winter Carnival, which begins this Thursday night and runs through Saturday. Students have been busy for months planning this event, which begins the countdown to the big 2000. Prelude to the Moollennium, the theme of this year’s carnival, will be an incredible time for all: a weekend of skiing, games, parties and fun.
The Williams College Winter Carnival is the only carnival in the country that is entirely student run. This year’s chairman is Austin Chang ’99, who is working with his assistant Tom LaRocca ’00 to make this year’s carnival the best ever. Austin and Tom have worked with the Williams Outing Club to coordinate and organize the carnival, which is one of the oldest outing clubs in the country.
The first Williams College Winter Carnival was on February 27th, 1915 and was a far cry from the carnivals which are organized today. A mere ten students gathered at Weston Field and participated in only 100 and 440 yard dashes on skis and snowshoes and a mile long race around campus. This weekend, skiers from all over the Northeast will come together at Jiminy Peak and Prospect Mountain to compete in both nordic and alpine skiing events. The events range from Slalom and Giant Slalom races for alpine skiers, to 10K Freestyle and Classic Pursuit races for the Nordic skiers. But of course, the weekend is not limited to skiing. Back on campus, numerous activities will be going on – anything from broomball to a medieval joust. After watching the ski races, students can catch one of the shuttles back to campus to participate in any or a number of these activities.
The traditional Citizen’s Cross-Country ski race kicks off the carnival festivities at 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon (weather permitting). It begins at the Gargoyle Gate at Weston Field, and covers a two mile course over the Taconic Golf Course. Any student or townsperson is welcome to participate, either in skating or traditional skiing- that is, if there is any snow! This race is a great beginning to the carnival, and lets everyone get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Thursday night will be a lesson in dance – Contra dance, that is. Ethan Plunkett ’00 will be coordinating a lively evening filled with steps and craziness at the new Goodrich Great Hall. Contra dance begins at 8 p.m., so take advantage of the fact that there are no Friday classes to come out and have a great night.
All the ski races begin Friday morning, the 19th. Hourly shuttles beginning at 9 a.m. go straight to Jiminy, and one van leaves for Prospect Mountain at 8:45 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m. At Jiminy, the women’s Giant Slalom first run starts at 9:30 a.m., and is followed immediately by the men’s Giant Slalom first run. At Prospect Mountain, the women’s 10K Freestyle Race begins at 10 a.m. with the men’s beginning at 11:30 a.m. The women’s Giant Slalom second run begins at 1 p.m., and is again followed directly by the men’s race.
For those on campus, there will be a whole range of events for everyone to participate in. Team signups will be this week in Baxter Mailroom. The famed Broomball tournament, headed by Will Allen ’02 and Garry Sanders ’02, will begin at 12 p.m. and run until 6 p.m. Start getting teams formed now, and get ready to play on the ice! Ever feel like you wanted to hit someone with a foam sword? Well, on Friday you can in the Medieval Joust which will be taking place on Baxter Lawn (or in Baxter Lounge depending on the weather) from 1-5 p.m. Find a partner and come on down. Snow Volleyball (again, if there is any snow!), headed by Brett Linck ’99 will be on Baxter Lawn from 1-4 p.m., and will be complemented by Williams’ own version of the hit MTV show Singled Out at 3 p.m. on Chapin Steps. Two lucky winners will be matched up with the guy or girl of their dreams right here at Williams College.
All the day’s activities will cause everyone to work up a big appetite, and therefore enjoy the Special Moollennium Dinner at all the dining halls from 5-7 p.m. The night, and essentially the whole carnival, begins at 7 p.m. with the Opening Ceremonies in the Goodrich Great Hall. Expect special guests and the tossing of the first ski (or, more accurately, the second ski this year, due to the fact that the ceremonies follow a day of skiing!). A parade follows the ceremonies, and ends up at Weston Field for an amazing show of fireworks at 8:15 p.m. The night is just beginning, for Karaoke begins at 9 p.m. at the log and goes until 1 a.m. At 10 p.m. the highlight of the evening begins; the Moollennium Rave at Goodrich. This rave, with special lights, effects and a professional DJ from New York City, goes until 3 a.m.
Saturday dawns bright and early for the skiers again. The shuttle schedule is the same as Friday, with the van to Prospect leaving at 8:45 a.m. and the Jiminy vans leaving at 9 a.m. and every hour until 1 p.m. Back at Prospect, the Nordic skiers participate in the 10K Classic Pursuit Race. The men ski at 9:30 a.m., while the women begin at 10:30 a.m. The Pursuit Race starting times are based on how well the racers performed on Friday, but the winner is the first to cross the finish line, making for some great competition. At Jiminy, the alpine racers get ready for the Slalom. The Slalom is shorter and has more gates than the Giant Slalom. The women’s 1st run is at 9:30 a.m., followed immediately by the men’s. The women’s 2nd run is at 1 p.m., with the men’s following again.
Campus is again busy with activity. The Snow Sculpture Contest headed by Heather Matthews ’02 begins on Baxter Lawn at 1 p.m. and runs until 5. If there is enough snow, this event is great to participate in and to watch. At 2 p.m. is the Moollennium Triathlon at Cole Field, headed by Laura Smith ’99, which will include many snow events. The carnival finishes off with huge Moollennium House parties, each of which will have a specific theme. A last hurrah for the last year in the Moollennium!
Winter Carnival this year is a monumental one- the last in the century! Come out and support the skiers, and join in the array of events planned! As the countdown begins, become a part of the Prelude to the Moollennium.