’Udder Madness’ planned for 2008 Winter Carnival

While the arrival of February each year marks chilling blizzards and less than pleasant weather, it also means the happy return of Winter Carnival. This year’s theme, “Udder Madness! Milk it for all it’s worth,” is in honor of the annual festival’s skiing cow mascot and includes activities both on campus and on the Jiminy Peak and Prospect Mountain slopes from Feb. 14 to 17.

The Williams Outing Club (WOC) along with student volunteers from WOC and the ski teams have organized and will run the 93rd consecutive carnival at the College.

The first Winter Carnival was held at the College on Mount Greylock in 1915, and has since been organized by WOC. Now, the College’s event is the only student-run carnival left in the country.

The carnival begins on Thursday with a new event organized by the ski team: the screening of skiing/snowboarding films in Paresky Theater to kick off the team’s new Weenie Jam event. In addition to an ACE concert that night, Thursday will also include a Valentine’s Day Party in Currier Ballroom from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

On Friday, the Weenie Jam begins at Jiminy Peak and will include “a mini terrain park competition open to all abilities of skiers and snowboards” along with special features to jump over, live music and food, Kit Fuderich ’08 said.

The ski races, an often-forgotten part of Winter Carnival, will be in full force this year and hope to attract more student attention. As a result, the Outing Club will be running shuttles out to Jiminy Peak and Prospect Mountain to garner student support for the alpine and nordic ski races. The Alpine races start on Friday at 9:30 a.m. on Jiminy Peak, while the Nordic races begin at 10 a.m. out on Prospect. On Saturday, the races begin on both mountains at 9:30 a.m.

Whether there’s snow on the mountains or not, Winter Carnival has instituted a tradition of canceling classes on Friday for the variety of campus-wide events. The winter sport and outdoor activities, always the mainstay of past Carnivals, will be joined by new additions including free skating, curling, ice sculpting and even tricycle racing on Friday and Saturday.

Thanks to Carnival co-chairs Sean McKenzie ’08 and Joe Skitka ’10, this year a new tradition will be unveiled on Paresky Lawn from 3 to 4 p.m. – the WAH! Tournament. The first winner’s name will be inscribed on the life-size WAH! paper mache statue.

The highlights of past carnivals include the opening ceremonies and dinner on Friday night, followed by campus-wide fireworks and campfire on Poker Flats. On the party scene, there is also the “Stop Light” Party on Friday and “Moo-lin Rouge” and “Red Light” parties on Saturday. Schedules will be posted across campus with all the events being held from Thursday to Sunday.

WOC director Scott Lewis, who described the Winter Carnival as “the marriage of Mountain Day and Homecoming,” urged all students to “come and be a part of making this year’s carnival a happy one.”

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