Winter Carnival occurs sans snow; doesn’t stop mud volleyball, jousting

Winter Carnival – more than just no class on Friday. This Winter Carnival was, like last year’s, lacking any fair amount of snow. This deficiency did not, however, prevent a large part of Williams students from engaging in the myriad Carnival activities.

Ski races kicked off the Winter Carnival activities, with Nordic races at Mt. Prospect in Vermont and Alpine races at Jiminy Peak. Although it seemed that these races began too early for your lazy college student to spectate, a fair amount of students made their presence known. “All the ski races, supported by over 70 student volunteers, went extremely smoothly,” said WOC coordinator Scott Lewis.

The vicious broomball tournament on Friday found many a competitor checking an adversary into the Plexiglass. The overall winner was East 2 United, who defeated Caribe Real with a score of 1-0. Frank Carlow ’00 of Caribe Rea said, “It gave us a wonderful chance to compete, and although we had arguments, we made it all work. We only gave up one goal the whole day – and that was in the championship game. But we’ll get them next year.”

The Medieval Joust was a point of interest to many, taking place on Baxter lawn on Friday afternoon. Although it is not an easy task to replicate the popularity of the sumo wrestling suits that students donned last year, the Joust had a nice feeling of American Gladiator, minus the large, muscular gladiators. Sharing the lawn with the Joust was “Snow Volleyball” without the snow. Mud Volleyball is probably a more appropriate term. Besides annoying the groundskeepers who now have to deal with the muddy mess in the middle of the lawn, volleyballers enjoyed the competition. Mayur Deshmukh ’01 said, “The competition was pretty good, and I mean, come on, who doesn’t like to roll around in the mud?” Unfortunately, the absence of snow did end up cancelling the snow sculpture contest that was planned for Saturday afternoon.

A huge crowd gathered near Chapin Steps to be a part of Williams Singled Out, our own version of the popular matchmaking MTV show. Although Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Elektra were too busy to make an appearance, host Bill Stebbins ’99 had his hands full with three female helpers, Jenny Powers ’99, Courtney Stokes ’99 and Katie Walsh ’99. Contestants were Pete Stein ’00 and Nicki Strauss ’99. Although it may have seemed a seamless presentation to the crowd, there was some anxiety preceeding the show. According to Stein, “I was a little nervous about suffering Bill’s comedic wrath in front of the crowd, so I did a bunch of push-ups back stage, and walked out there trying to look like hot action even though I was freezing!” Marissa Berman ’02 won a date with Stein, while Colin Cain ’99 won a date with Strauss. Hey, if a popular show can’t make a couple at Williams, what can?

A Special Moollennium Dinner was a big hit, drawing students to different dining halls to find the meal of choice. Directly after dinner, the Carnival Ceremonies began at Goodrich Hall, featuring much-loved Dean Peter Murphy. Dean Murphy appeared in mixed garb, leading a Williams favorite: students in a cow costume. Dean Murphy, upon reaching the podium, explained that his uniform was comprised of various pieces of costume from Williams performances – including a good character, a bad character, and a clown. Student organizers Austin Chang ’99 and Liz Dubinsky ’02 revealed their identities by stepping out of the cow costume.

Ski teams and a capella groups traded off on stage during the Carnival Ceremonies, with a notable fashion show by the men’s Nordic team, whose freshman paraded in their underwear. Another memorable moment occurred when The Octet’s soloist, Justin Deichman ’01, realized that he had begun his solo prematurely. Deichman played off his error like few could, throwing in a few strange dancing moves to relieve the pressure, and starting the song over. Ephoria, Good Question, Gypsy Melodies, The Accidentals and The Springstreeters rounded out the a capella roster for the evening. “The Carnival Ceremonies, in a standing-room-only crowd at Goodrich, were the best I’ve seen. . .a highlight was Tom LaRocca’s [‘00] rendition of the national anthem on electric guitar,” says Lewis.

Fireworks at Weston field were again a good showing; the night also featured karaoke at the Log and a Moollennium Rave at Goodrich. Although it seems questionable whether a Rave could really be pulled off in a chapel, the stained-glass windows reflected the multi-colored lights that helped set the mood and create a rave-like atmosphere.

One of the few complaints of the weekend was out of the control of Winter Carnival organizers and participants – the weather. Though Dean Murphy predicted that in 50 years our Winter Carnival weather would be reminiscent of summer, there is always hope for next year’s snow.

Since every adventure is a learning experience, participants may have learned a thing or two from Winter Carnival ’99. Perhaps it has to do with the theme. Maybe the lesson is in how to spell that long M-word. Check out your yellow button. Hmm, “Moolenium”? Or maybe the green Winter Carnival Ceremonies booklet. “Moollenium”? Well, at least Dining Services got it right: Moo + millennium = MOOLLENNIUM. Better luck with spell check next year!

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