Lined up along the top of the bulletin board at the Williams Outing Club (WOC) office are 22 Winter Carnival buttons, all of them with some creative bovine pun having to do with our impressive little purple cow. Spread out on the table are images of years past, black and white pictures of castles – literally castles – made out of snow, and one majestic ice sculpture of a ballerina couple.
“If there’s anything the community and faculty really miss, it’s the snow sculptures,” Scott Lewis, director of WOC, said, pulling out old pictures of huge student-made sculptures. It was a time when Williams students – inspired mainly by the fraternities – worked to display their creativity and competitiveness.
This year, however, WOC and College Council (CC) are combining forces to try and stir up interest for this year’s Winter Carnival on a campus that is already extremely tired of being so darned cold. “MediEPHal Times,” which will have events from Thursday afternoon through Saturday night, has been planned out for maximum enjoyment of a Wiliamstown snowfall that, according to Lewis, the campus hasn’t seen for over 20 years.
Among this year’s new changes includes an almost $4000 firework spectacle, a favorite event that the carnival had lost for the past two years due to budget cuts. For the upcoming Winter Carnival, CC came through for the affair and promises a spectacular show for the campus.
Aside from the grander events, there will be plenty of the normal – and not so normal – outdoor activities. In addition to opportunities to learn to ski and skate, the Carnival will host a human dog-sled race, a tricyle race, and a cross country skiing race, with costumes required. For the exceptionally brave, there will be a special “Polar Bear Swim” on Thursday night.
For those who would prefer to stay warm, MediEPHal Times has other events planned throughout, including medieval movies marathon and a formal ball to be held Saturday night in Paresky. In keeping with the medieval theme, Ephs are also encouraged to compete in the jousting competition.
Don’t want to participate? At least stroll through campus and appreciate the collaborative efforts of our students working to make winter as active and fun as any other old season.
“I’m excited,” Sara Kang ’14 said. Her hometown of “Atlanta doesn’t ever get this much snow, so it’ll be cool to participate.” WOC, CC and others involved in the planning is hoping to spark the same eagerness across all classes, from first-years to seniors.
Those setting up the carnival are seeking a huge turnout and want to knock the memory of past Winter Carnivals out of the water with the new image of the event: The image of a community drawn together again by a cold winter day.
There is a poster circulating that questions what happened to the spirit of the winter carnival – where are the sculptures, the races, and the enthusiasm. Ephs, it is time to prove that poster wrong: let’s get out of hibernation mode, wrap ourselves up in our warmest clothes and go dashing through the snow, laughing all the way. The schedule for this year’s Winter Carnival events can be found on posters posted around campus, and also online.