Winter Carnival features return of official snow sculpture

by Susie Lee and Alexandra Limb | 2/2/18 2:37am

by Hannah McGrath / The Dartmouth

As campus becomes more and more like the ice planet Hoth, Star Wars-themed events will dominate Winter Carnival, which is titled “Snow Wars: May The Frost Be With You.” New and old activities will include an official snow sculpture — back from a three year hiatus — and classics such as the human dogsled race, ice sculpture contest, polar bear plunge and 99-cent ski day.

Winter Carnival chair Adam Baillie '18 said that preparation for Winter Carnival has been going on since last year, led by three student chairs and a general council of 20 other students.

Winter Carnival officially begins on Thursday evening with an opening celebration at Collis Common Ground and Programming Board Coffeehouse Concert in One Wheelock.

The big festivities will kick off Friday with the Dartmouth Carnival ski races at the Dartmouth Skiway and the annual polar bear plunge at Occom Pond. Friday evening is also the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games, which students can watch together at the Hopkins Center for the arts while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies.

On Saturday, students will be out on the Green building ice sculptures, which will be judged in the afternoon. Baillie said he is looking forward to the variety of sculptures that will be created and that he believes the Star Wars theme will provide a lot of opportunities for students to be creative in the ice carving.

The traditional human dogsled race on the Green has been modified to allow participants to run as many qualifiers as they would like, Baillie said. Once everyone has competed in the preliminary rounds, the top eight teams will go head to head in a final race, he added.

A new addition to Winter Carnival is the costume parade and contest that will take place after the dog sled races. Participants will include students, faculty and community members, wearing “Snow Wars”-themed costumes. The contest will be judged in different categories, such as best group costume or most creative costume, with an opportunity to win prizes.

Winter Carnival will also feature a large snow sculpture on the Green. The last official Winter Carnival-sponsored sculpture was made in 2015, Baillie said.

This year’s sculpture is organized by Zoe Dinneen ’18 and will feature a Darth Vader helmet. After speaking with alumni who encouraged her to continue the snow sculpture tradition, Dinneen was excited to “rethink the tradition and bring art back into it,” she said. The sculpture is funded by the Sphinx Foundation.

A main team of Dinneen and four other students are spearheading the construction of the snow sculpture, but all students are welcome to help in its construction, Dinneen said, adding that there have already been around 40 student volunteers.

According to Dinneen, the group is working every day until next Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This weekend, there will be a “building bash” party where students can come help build the snow sculpture, she said.

Students can also buy Winter Carnival t-shirts and posters in Collis throughout next week. This year’s poster design winner is Regina Yan ’19, and the t-shirt design winners are Yan and Raphael Hviding ’18. The poster features a “Dartmouth Vader” and other “quirky little things that would make it Dartmouth themed,” Yan said.

Correction Appended (Feb. 2, 2018):

The Feb. 2 article "Winter Carnival features return of official snow sculpture" has been updated to correct quotes erroneously attributed to associate director of student involvement David Pack. The quotes were by Winter Carnival chair Adam Baillie '18.

Correction Appended (Feb. 4, 2018):

A previous version of the Feb. 2 article "Winter Carnival features return of official snow sculpture" incorrectly attributed the sculpture's funding to the Class of 1969. The sculpture is funded by the Sphinx Foundation. This article has been updated to reflect this correction.