Winter Carnival Council determines weekend's schedule

by Anthony Lafontant | 2/7/13 11:00pm

This year's Winter Carnival will feature the weekend's traditional events inspired by the theme "A Very Grimm Carnival," a tribute to the Grimm Brothers' dark fairy tales, Winter Carnival Council co-chair Mandy Bowers '14 said.

While the council hoped to revive previously canceled events, as of press time, a second year of unseasonably warm weather prompted the cancellation of the campus-wide snow sculpture contest and the Carni Classic, a cross-country ski race on the Hanover Country Club golf course.

On Thursday evening, Winter Carnival opened with ceremonies on the Green. The night's highlights included a rendition of the alma mater and speeches from faculty, alumni and other community members. The ski team, marching with torches, lit the Grimm-themed sculptures of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, council co-chair Michael Perlstein '14 said.

The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Top of the Hop. The Carnival's classic silent film "Winter Carnival" (1939) was also shown on Thursday night.

This morning, students willing to brave the sub-zero temperatures of Occom Pond will participate in the Polar Bear Swim. The Dartmouth Skiway will also be hosting its annual 99-cent ski day today. The traditional campus-wide snow sculpture contest, which would have occurred from Thursday through today, was canceled. The Interfraternity Council and the Class of 1977 had planned to offer prizes of $1,200 for the first place sculpture, $600 for second place and $400 for third place.

Will Baird '15, who led the construction of the sculpture on the Green, said that it was unfortunate the contest was canceled.

"There's nothing we can do," Baird said. "Producing snow is very cost-prohibitive."

The annual Carnival Ball will also take place tonight. Unlike in past years, however, this year's ball will be hosted in Sarner Underground, according to Eric Ramsey, director of the Collis Center for Student Involvement and Winter Carnival Council advisor.

The council wanted this year's ball to be less formal and more accessible to students.

"This year, there will be a DJ, and we think the new location will make the whole event a lot more fun for everyone," Ramsey said.

The council devoted significant time and effort to improving the ball because it traditionally serves as the cornerstone of the weekend, Perlstein said.

"We're hoping to make it into something of a dance contest in addition to a great place to have fun, hang out and begin the night," Bowers said.

Phi Delta Alpha fraternity will host its second annual Chili Cook-off on Saturday afternoon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation for wounded veterans.

The human dogsled race is scheduled to take place Saturday on the Green but may be cancled if there is not enough snow, Bowers said. Teams of four will pull sleds in a bracket-style competition.

There will also be an arts and crafts activity on Saturday, where participants may design their own sock puppets using pipe-cleaners, markers and "googly-eyes," according to arts and crafts committe chair Stephen Sigward '16.

The Occom Pond Party, sponsored by the town of Hanover, was postponed until Sunday afternoon.

This year, Programming Board provided the council with a $20,000 budget to plan this weekend's events. Because of last year's unseasonable weather, the council spent a portion of its budget on snow but focused on improving existing Winter Carnival events this year, Bowers said.

"Winter Carnival is a great time to get outside and have some fun, so we're working hard to make it the best Winter Carnival yet," Perlstein said.