Last Friday, students skied, snowshoed and enjoyed other winter activities at the Mt. Greylock Ski Club for the first time during Winter Carnival. This year’s Carnival was themed “Snow Place Like Home” and featured several events centered around the theme of The Wizard of Oz, including a themed dinner in the dining halls Thursday, a screening of the movie on Friday night and the All Campus Entertainment Emerald City Gala in Paresky on Saturday night.
On Thursday, the weekend’s events kicked off with the Community Nordic Ski race on Taconic Golf Course. Nordic Ski Club hosted the event, which occurred for the first time in recent years.
“We were ecstatic to have so many people out there racing and braving the cold – and in such awesome costumes nonetheless!” Ellen Finch ’16, Nordic Ski Club co-founder, said. “The race went incredibly well, and it was great to see students, professors and families alike tearing up the course and having fun.”
The Winter Carnival Committee, chaired by Abigail Robinson ’17 and Annabel Coleman ’16, worked with several other groups on campus to plan the entire weekend’s events, including renting out the Ski Club for the day.
“We were able to secure some funding from the ski and snowboard club last year, and so we were able to rent the Mt. Greylock Ski Club for a really low fee,” Scott Lewis, director of the Williams Outing Club, said. “That was huge. And when we planned this in the fall, the carnival committee went out there, and we knew it was a gamble. There are years where there’s no snow, or it’s too cold, or it’s ice, there are so many things. But the place has such a great atmosphere, we believed even if the weather was bad, we could pull off a grill and music and just have a festive atmosphere there.”
The weather, which was cold but sunny, was ultimately ideal for the day of snow activities and tailgating according to Lewis. Over 350 students took full advantage of the event. Going forward, Lewis hopes to continue hosting a Winter Carnival event at Mt. Greylock Ski Club every other year when, like this year, the College does not host any NCAA ski races.
“Wizard of Oz Snow Break Like Home,” an event featuring movies, games and food hosted by the Office of Student Life and Dining Services, took place in Paresky on Friday as well. Although the annual campfire and fireworks at Poker Flats were postponed from Thursday night to Friday night, the event was successful with an estimated 800 to 1000 people in attendance.
Events on Saturday included a snow sculpture contest on Paresky lawn and a “Meet and Greet with Toto,” where students could meet professors’ dogs.
“It was just a great coming together of many parts of the campus to provide a really fun-filled weekend that really celebrated community and winter all together,” Lewis said, praising dining services, facilities and security among other groups for making the day successful. “We always strive to make it where Mountain Day marries Homecoming, and it’s never been able to reach that plateau, but I think this year we came really close. I’m really pleased. It was a lot of hard work from a lot of people, and I think students really enjoyed themselves.”