Allegheny College will welcome back its annual Winterfest festival on Saturday, Jan. 28. The event will feature ice carving, hot chocolate, music, food and other winter activities, according to Allegheny Student Government, which is organizing the event in collaboration with Gator Activities Programming.
Winterfest, which was formerly an annual event at Allegheny, was discontinued in February 2012 so that ASG could focus on the year’s major concert, according to a Campus article dated Feb. 17, 2012.
The idea of reviving Winterfest was first proposed on Oct. 4, 2016, by ASG Sen. Amy Currul, ’17, at ASG’s general assembly meeting. At the meeting, Currul asked for a five minute moderated discussion to gauge interest in bringing the event back to campus.
During the discussion, several members of ASG expressed their support for the event. Director of Communications and Press Mark Myers, ’19, said it could be an excellent opportunity to bring the Meadville and Allegheny communities together.
“I think bringing up vendors from Meadville would also be a great idea,” Myers said at the Oct. 4, meeting.
ASG President Tess Bracken, ’17, and Vice President Sofia Kaufman, ’17, also expressed their support for the project at the Oct. 4, meeting and suggested the senior class take the lead in organizing it.
Since then, Currul said the senior class has begun organizing and planning the event; however, GAP has also been assisting ASG in hiring the ice sculptor who must be hired as an outside contractor, according to GAP’s Vice President of Special Events Quintin Peacock, ’17.
Currul said the idea of bringing Winterfest back to Allegheny began when she was looking for new ways to get students involved on campus, especially during the winter months.
“I was trying to think of ways to invigorate campus,” Currul said.
To find ideas for such an event, Currul said she began looking through the online archive of The Campus, looking for events that ASG and GAP had hosted in the past. She said this was where she first read about the event.
“What struck me most was a quote at the end saying they hoped it would not be a recurring trend, skipping Winterfest,” Currul said.
Currul said another important part of the event is the collaboration with GAP, which she said she hopes will continue. Peacock said GAP is also committed to continued collaboration between the two organizations.
“It’s us working better with ASG and working to establish a better relationship,” Peacock said.
In addition to acting in an “advisory” capacity and helping publicize the event, Peacock said GAP also made a financial commitment to the event with some of its surplus funds. He said GAP contributed around $2,000 for the event. Currul said the total budget for Winterfest is $5,000.
The event, according to Currul, will take place on the quad and in the campus center lobby and will run all day. She said snow is expected, but they will be holding the event regardless of the weather.
“Some events will have to be adjusted depending on the weather,” Currul said.
Currul said the primary focus of the event is to alleviate some of the dreariness of the winter months, especially at the start of the semester when many students are shut up in their rooms on the weekends.
“We are hoping this will be a way to get people out,” Currul said.
As a graduating senior, Currul said she hopes this is an event that will continue.
“As I leave this semester, it’s kind of about leaving my mark, so I hope this is something that will be carried on,” Currul said.