Winter Carnival sees few canceled events, small number of arrests

by Maud McCole | 2/14/20 2:05am

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Students participated in an ice-carving competition along N. Main Street.

by Kyle Spencer / The Dartmouth

Despite weeks of warmer weather leading up to Winter Carnival, temperatures dropped on Friday and remained low throughout the weekend, preventing the traditional polar bear swim and ice skating on Occom Pond. Difficulties at the U.S.-Canadian border also prevented the delivery of a large dome that would have been placed on the Green. Despite these constraints, many of the other events ran as scheduled including a completion of a full-sized snow sculpture in the center of the Green. 

Meanwhile, a similar numbers of arrests occurred during the big weekend compared to past years, and Safety and Security saw a variety of issues related to the ice and slippery conditions. 

According to Hanover Police lieutenant Scott Rathburn, there were two arrests between Thursday and Sunday — one protective custody arrest for intoxication and one arrest for unlawful possession of alcohol. The number of arrests has remained steady at three or four for the past couple of Winter Carnival weekends. Rathburn said that the number of arrests this weekend represent a typical weekend at Dartmouth, and that he did not see an increase due to Winter Carnival activities. 

Interim director of Safety and Security Keysi Montás wrote in an email that the majority of incidents over the weekend were medical troubles due to icy conditions. There were 26 total medical incidents and five alcohol-related incidents — down from nine last year. He also noted that there were a few miscellaneous reports, including calls about theft, a bat in a building, a 911 misdial and a noise complaint. 

“It was a relatively safe weekend,” Montás wrote. 

The theme of Dartmouth’s 110th annual celebration was “A Blizzard of Unbelievable Beasts,” which was commemorated by a giant loch ness monster snow sculpture in the center of the Green.

Several of this year’s events were canceled because of Friday’s severe weather, including the annual polar bear swim. According to an email sent to campus, freezing rain on Thursday night combined with snow on Friday made the conditions unsafe for swimmers. According to Winter Carnival co-chair Juan Miche Rosales ’20, it is unlikely that the swim will be rescheduled due to difficulties with coordination and warmer weather throughout the winter.

Furthermore, one of this year’s largest additions — a giant snow dome that would have been located next to the snow sculpture — did not arrive to campus because of difficulties at the Canadian border with customs and Homeland Security and unsafe travel conditions. The dome would have been able to hold up to 200 people and would have been the site for various Winter Carnival activities, including the opening ceremony. 

Miche Rosales said that while he was disappointed with the cancellations, this year’s celebration went well overall.

“It was a really successful Winter Carnival just because of how much interaction we had with the rest of the Dartmouth community,” he said.

According to Miche Rosales, a successful addition to the schedule of events this year was “S’more Lore,” which occurred on the Green on Saturday night. In line with this year’s theme, students were invited to share scary stories and legends that they knew from their own lives. Local cryptozoologist Aleksandar Petakov joined students to share folklore from the New Hampshire area. 

Rosales cited the opening ceremony on Thursday evening, which took place in Collis Common Ground, as another highlight of this year’s Winter Carnival. The ceremony included catering from the Skinny Pancake, a capella performances from the Rockapellas and the Dartmouth Sings, and remarks from psychological and brain sciences professor John Pfister about mythological animals.

Following Friday’s snow, the Dartmouth Skiway provided favorable conditions for its 99-cent ski day on Saturday. This year, the Skiway also offered free beginner’s lessons for Dartmouth students. Due to changes in scheduling, this year’s Winter Carnival did not coincide a home race for the Dartmouth ski team. 

Other events over the weekend included the annual Ice Sculpture Contest, Phi Delta Alpha’s chili cook off, a Yeti scavenger hunt, Cryptid Crafts & Creations and an Oscars viewing party on Sunday night.