By Rachel Taber
From Thursday, Feb. 5 to Saturday, Feb. 7, Lawrence students will come together as a community to celebrate the annual Winter Carnival and have fun in the process. Events will begin on the 5th, with a screening of the film “Love Actually,” and end on the 7th with the President’s Ball. On Friday, the broomball tournament will begin and there will be a special happy hour with winter themed drinks in the Viking Room. Saturday, the broomball tournament will continue and the ice-sculpting competition will take place, as well as many other activities from student organizations.
Winter Carnival is a chance for students to take advantage of the cold climate that we endure every year.
“Winter Carnival is a celebration of winter, since a big chunk of Lawrence’s academic year is in the winter we think we should find ways to embrace and have some fun with it,” said Gregory Griffin, director of the Warch Campus Center. “We try to find actives that are enjoyable and can be done in the middle of our long winter.”
Winter Carnival looks at the positive side of winter and encourages students to embrace the cold for some fresh air.
“A lot of negative things can come with winter, so having it seen in a brighter, happier sense is the bigger thing we do with Winter Carnival,” said Committee chair Kate Alison.
In addition to broomball and ice sculpting, there will also be many indoor events. “There’s a combination of indoor things and outdoor things, so you don’t always have to put on a parka or mittens and go outside and play games,” said Griffin.
One of the goals of this year’s Winter Carnival is to get more student groups involved in the event and bring students and staff together. “One thing this year that we focused on was getting student groups more active,” Alison said. “We try our best to get professors out and staff members out, so students get to interact with them outside of the classroom setting or outside of the office setting.”
Events involving student groups include a volunteering opportunitiy with Lambda Sigma, graham cracker house building with Habitat for Humanity, outdoor games and races with Gaming Club and the Nordic Ski Team and many more. Other organizations involved include NeuroLU, SOUP, Lut lovers, Tea Lovers Club, GlobeMed, LCF, LUREE and Food Recovery Network.
Winter Carnival also allows students and staff to appreciate the history and continue traditions.
“Here’s a way to continue to honor traditions of past and carry on that aspect again. This also provides launching points for other traditional elements of our campus community,” committee member Curt Lauderdale explained. “So I think it really is allowing us to continue these traditional elements of our campus.”
Winter Carnival has a long history and has been present on and off for decades. “It’s one of those activities of the university that’s come and gone over the years, Griffin explained. “We can trace it back probably 75-plus years ago that there were Winter Carnivals on campus.”
The Winter Carnival was brought back 5 years ago as a way to unite students through a particularly harsh winter. “When we decided to bring it back in its modern era, we were digging through the archives and looking through some old yearbooks and could find pictures of Winter Carnival from many decades,” explained Lauderdale. “So we really took some of our cues from past pictures here and Milwaukee Downer to help shape what our current schedule looks like.”
The Winter Carnival is also promoting this weekend’s Conservatory concerts and athletic events.
“I think it’s really nice when we are able to, like this year, package the carnival schedule with existing events like band and choir concerts and all of the home athletic events. That’s a really nice way to bring those events and students into the bigger picture” said Lauderdale.