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Juniors Will Daly and Caroline Brown are thrilled to have an abundance of snow.

Winter Carnival on Feb. 20-22 Offers Skiing, Skating, Snow Sculpture and More

February 14, 2014

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.– With a full slate of activities including skiing, snow sculpture, fireworks, dancing and an ice show, Middlebury College’s 91st annual Winter Carnival will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20, through Saturday, Feb. 22.

The student co-chairs of 2014 Winter Carnival, juniors Caroline Brown and Will Daly, are excited to have over a foot of snow on the ground and more wintry weather in the forecast to help generate enthusiasm for this year’s events.

“The last two Winter Carnivals have been weird and wet,” Daly said, “so having all this snow and a chill in the air will be a pleasant change for this year’s carnival participants.”

From the Archives...
Just for Carnival, Special Collections and Archives found this great treasure: a short clip of the obstacle relay on Storrs Drive from the early 1930s. 

Brown added: “We hope to get a big turnout of students at the Snow Bowl and Rikert Nordic Center for the ski races,” where Middlebury will play host to skiers from Dartmouth, UVM, Harvard, and other schools at the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) championships, Feb. 21-22.

The emphasis at the races will be on fun and camaraderie, explained Brown, who ordered 50 big blue cowbells with a white Middlebury “M” on them so students can add some noise and excitement at the finish line.

Winter Carnival, sponsored by the Middlebury College Activities Board, will commence on Thursday with the snow sculpture competition and a bonfire and fireworks display on campus. In the evening, the comedian Jay Larson, who has appeared on “Conan” and “The Late Late Show,” will entertain the student body at McCullough Social Space.

Friday night's band, Suz Slezak and David Wax, are "pure, irrestible joy," according to NPR.

There will be no classes for students on Friday (in keeping with the Middlebury tradition) as the snow sculpture competition heats up and the College runs free buses from campus to the Snow Bowl and Rikert. The Middlebury Mountain Club will conduct a variety of afternoon races and games on the snowbound quad near McCullough, along with snacks and music, in the annual event called “Northern Lights.”

Planning ahead, the Winter Carnival organizers employed an online survey with links to YouTube so the student body could hold an “election” to determine which band would entertain the campus at the free concert in McCullough on Friday night. The folk-rock duo David Wax Museum prevailed in the voting, and one or possibly two student bands will open for them.

The Winter Carnival Ice Show will take place both Friday and Saturday evenings in Kenyon Arena with choreographed numbers relating to this year’s theme, “Heroes and Villains.” The graduating seniors Alan Sutton and Kendall Wyckoff will skate their final solos, and faculty and staff children along with current Middlebury students in the College figure skating club will entertain the crowd. This year’s guest skaters are Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff, who medaled at the 2012 U.S. Championships in pairs competition and compete at the highest level in their sport.

A page from the 1934 Winter Carnival program, courtesy of Middlebury College Special Collections.

On Saturday, the EISA races will continue at the Snow Bowl and Rikert Nordic Center and a hot chocolate bar will be set up both at the Snow Bowl and back on campus at Crossroads Café. Middlebury’s three-day Winter Carnival will conclude Saturday night at the Winter Carnival Ball in Nelson Arena with DJ Earworm, a San Francisco-based mashup artist.

The Winter Carnival schedule of events can be reviewed here. Tickets for public events are available at the College’s online box office and at the box office in McCullough Student Center.

Middlebury College’s Winter Carnival dates back to February 1920 when it was called "Winter Holiday," and it is believed to be the oldest, student-run winter carnival in the country.

It has been presented in its current format since 1934, according to College historian David Stameshkin, when skiing and ski-jumping events took on place on Chipman Hill, and snowshoe and obstacle races were held on Storrs Avenue. The occasion also featured hockey games, skating shows, snow sculpture competitions, the formal Carnival Ball and a Tea Dance at the Middlebury Inn. 


1 Comment

Could you post that 1930's Winter Carnival video on Facebook? Very apropos with Winter Olympics and I'd like to share it with my friends.

by Janet S Reed (not verified)

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