Top Ten: Winter Carnival Sculptures

By Caroline Berens, The Dartmouth Staff | 2/4/15 12:54pm

As the snow on the ground and our excessive x-hours indicate, Winter Carnival is looming. As a first-year, I must admit I have no idea what exactly this weekend entails —I’ve heard something about the “Polar Plunge,” and someone told me that there’s a human dogsled race, but I can’t be sure what’s true and what’s not. I can confirm with my own eyes, however, that something is happening on the center of the Green, where a large chunk of ice and snow is slowly but surely being shaped into something regarding villains and heroes. So, in honor of my new knowledge and of Winter Carnival’s greatest tradition, I’ve taken a walk down memory lane (with the assistance of the Rauner Special Collections Library) and reviewed the top ten Winter Carnival ice sculptures of all time. Will this year’s make the list? TBD.

1. Earliest Archived Picture (No Theme), 1924

Fascinatingly, the first ice sculpture I could find a picture of was built near Occom Pond, not in the center of the Green.

2. Prohibition Blues, 1961

If I had to guess, I would say that the creators of this ice sculpture probably thought that prohibition was a thing of the past….but, just a guess.

3. For the Whole Family, 1971

Although I’m not sure exactly how an ice sculpture of a massive boat was supposed to correlate with the theme of familial unity, it is pretty impressive to note that there was once a giant frozen sailboat in the middle of the Green.

4. The Winter Wonderland of Oz, 1972

What could be better than combining everyone’s favorite story with Winter Carnival? Plus, in addition to its phenomenal detail, this sculpture looks incredibly fun to slide down.

5. A Snow-Spangled Salute, 1976

Not only did we have our very own Statue of Liberty here in Hanover in 1976, but she was even wearing a Dartmouth sweater and holding a ’76 mug. Nice touches, right?

6. Hanover Hears a Who, 1981

Wait, did Dr. Seuss go to Dartmouth?!

7. Winter Games of Old: Gods and Goddesses and Gold, 1988

I once read that the statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. So, if this man is Zeus and not Dumbledore, then that means this sculpture has to be a lock for a top ten spot on one list or another.

8. How the Grinch Stole the Carnival, 1992

Although Christmas was long gone at that point, the Grinch still stuck around for Winter Carnival in 1992. Honestly, I would have picked this sculpture for its name alone. But it’s certainly a bonus that it came together so well!

9. Oh, the Places it Snows: A Seussentennial, 2004

We get it, Dartmouth. He went here.

10. Down the Rabbit Hole, 2007

Another winning combination of Winter Carnival and a classic children’s tale. Would have been nice to have an actual hole to jump down in the middle to escape midterms, but hey, you can’t have everything!

Correction appended: An earlier version of this article credited the Carnival theme "Winter Games of Old: Gods and Goddesses and Gold" as having occurred in 1989. This theme was in fact used in 1988.

Caroline Berens, The Dartmouth Staff