Back when Hamilton hosted its first Winter Carnival in 1938, activities ranged from a frigid figure-skating exhibition featuring members of the U.S. Olympic team to frosty fraternity dance parties. Though popular, the Winter Carnival events petered out over the years, disappearing completely in the mid-’50s.
But in 2000, Winter Carnival was revived under a new name: FebFest. Co-chaired this year by Liz Carty ’11 and Lauren Vitale ’11, the goal of FebFest is to bring together the Hamilton and Clinton communities in a celebration of snow, friends and wintry comforts. The theme is “Winter Carnival,” a salute to the original tradition.
Carty and Vitale began planning the schedule of events at the end of the fall semester and worked with graphic designer Kyle Rajaniemi ’11 to develop a logo, T-shirts and poster designs. Each year, the revelries of FebFest involve dozens of particpants, from sports teams to campus organizations to Hamilton’s dining service, Bon Appétit. As the FebFest week kicks off, Carty and Vitale say that this year will be no different, yet this time around they hope they have made the festival especially exciting. “As we were planning, we talked to many students, many of whom were seniors, who didn’t know what FebFest was,” they explain. “So our mission has been to increase awareness and attendance at events.”
By week’s end their mission will have been accomplished. And what will their favorite event have been? “The Chili Cook-off,” they’ll respond. “We got second place!”