Winter Carnival concludes with annual President’s Ball

Photos by Sarah Navy.

The President’s Ball is a Lawrence tradition held each year during the Winter Carnival.

In keeping with traditions, many Lawrentians participated in the Winter Carnival this year. The Student Organization for University Programming (SOUP), in conjunction with a few other organizations, sponsored a week’s worth of activities from Monday, Jan. 27, to Sunday, Feb. 2.

Beginning on Monday, students could participate in a scavenger hunt across campus to find the miniature polar bears that promoted Winter Carnival. On Tuesday, SOUP and WelLU hosted a ping-pong tournament in the Mead Witter Room of the Warch Campus Center.

On Wednesday, students could venture to Nordic Mountain with SOUP to ski in the snow and enjoy some winter fun. On Thursday, SOUP hosted grocery bag bingo where students played bingo with the hopes of winning free food. 

Winter Carnival began gearing up on Friday night when both Lawrence’s women’s and men’s basketball teams competed against Cornell College. The Lawrence Symphony Orchestra also performed on Friday night, featuring Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner, sophomore Ben Johnson. On both Friday and Saturday nights, “Abominable” was showing in the Warch Campus Center Cinema as well.

Although the week full of activities may have been full of fun, Winter Carnival is best known for the events that occurred on Saturday, Feb. 1. In the morning, students could be seen sliding and battling on Ormsby Lake during the annual Broomball tournament. 

Competition continued throughout the day, as Baking and Cooking Club and SOUP hosted a gingerbread house competition in the Warch Campus Center in the afternoon. Groups competed to decorate the best gingerbread house. The entries were then voted on at President’s Ball later that night.

The annual President’s Ball began at 9 p.m. and ended at midnight on Saturday. The formal event was held in the Somerset Room of the Warch Campus Center where Big Band Reunion entertained with live swing and big band music. Students, faculty and staff all gathered together to dance, take an excessive number of photos and, of course, enjoy the chocolate fondue. Additionally, this year’s ball was advertised as a zero-waste event.

According to SOUP adviser and Student Activities Coordinator, Nadir Carlson, attendance for the ball has been approximately 500 students in the past. However, Carlson estimated that attendance hit a record high this year, which he said was indicated by how quickly the food was eaten and how full the ballroom was this year.

Winter Carnival finished up on Sunday, Feb. 2, with a day of service sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement and Social Change. For the day of service, several student organizations hosted events open to the Lawrence community.

Also on Sunday, People for Animal Welfare hosted a cat café in the Mead Witter room of Warch Campus Center. During this event, students could enjoy snacks in the company of cats. All proceeds from the tickets to enter were then donated to Saving Paws.

On Sunday afternoon, students also had the opportunity to visit an environmental table near the mailroom to receive free sustainable items and more. Another student organization, Panhel, made tie-blankets for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.