The 86th annual Middlebury College Winter Carnival, the oldest and largest student-run — and only carbon neutral — winter carnival in the country, will take place Thursday, Feb. 19, through Sunday, Feb. 22. The public is invited to attend the ice show, both Nordic and alpine ski competitions, and various outdoor events such as fireworks, broomball and snow sculpting.
Beginning on Thursday, Feb. 19, the public is invited to attend a bonfire and fireworks show on Battell Beach, located behind Battell Hall on College Street (Route 125). The bonfire will begin at 8 p.m., and the fireworks will take place around 8:45 p.m.
On Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21, snowsculpting and broomball games will take place throughout the day on McCullough Lawn outside McCullough Student Center, located on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125).
Also on Friday and Saturday, some of the finest collegiate skiers will compete in Nordic and alpine races that are regional qualifying events for the NCAA. Competitions take place at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock and the Rikert Ski Touring Center in Ripton, both located on Route 125.
At the end of Middlebury College’s winter term, many students celebrate the closing of their undergraduate college careers. About 120 students typically earn bachelor of arts degrees from Middlebury upon the mid-year completion of their academic requirements, officially on March 1. As part of a congratulatory weekend for these graduates, the annual “ski-down” procession in cap and gown takes place at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock.
The college offers admission to students twice each year, in September and again in February. Since the 1970s, February admissions have allowed some first-year students to begin their college studies in the spring semester after high school graduation instead of starting immediately in the fall. As these students complete their undergraduate careers, the college honors their accomplishments with a weekend-long mid-winter celebration.