Winterfest features campus center ice skating rink

The lack of snow outside did not stop Allegheny students from celebrating Winterfest.

Students enjoyed Winterfest, which included a soup bar, hot chocolate, a snow globe photo booth and an ice skating rink on Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Henderson Campus Center from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in a revival of the Major Events Committee and Allegheny Student Government event.

Winterfest has not been held since 2017, and before that, 2011, when Winterfest was cancelled in 2012 to focus on the major concert, according to a January 2017 Campus article.

“Winterfest is one of those things that we just fell out of doing,” said Camila Gomez, ’19, ASG president.“Maybe there (has been) a lack of motivation to spearhead the event. Event organizing is expensive, it’s time consuming, so, if you don’t have enough people invested in doing it, chances are, you’re not going to have a good event.”

Winterfest was revived in 2017 when one student, Amy Currul ’17, took on most of the responsibility to plan it.

“A couple years ago, Amy was really passionate about (Winterfest),” Gomez said. “Sometimes, I feel like in ASG we take ourselves too seriously, and I think that was Amy’s feeling as well. She just wanted to bring back this fun thing we did in the community that got us out there and got us talking to people in a fun setting. She pretty much executed the entire 2017 Winterfest … she really poured a lot of effort into it.”

This year, Gomez proposed to ASG and MEC that, due to the large gap between homecoming and Springfest, Winterfest should be brought back for students as something to look forward to. Notably, Gomez proposed Winterfest to be hosted as an MEC event, instead as an ASG-exclusive event. Gomez hopes that Winterfest again becomes a staple event that students look forward to each year.

“(The proposal) was really positively received,” Gomez said. “We’re working with the GAP Executive Board to bring Winterfest back. I’m hoping that if it’s an MEC event, it will endure, and we will not have that lack of motivation on ASG’s side.”

This year’s Winterfest included a soup bar, hot chocolate and giveaways including ice scrapers and earbuds. There was also a large, inflatable snow globe inside which students were able to use as a photo booth with friends.

The highlight of Winterfest, as many students indicated, was the floor of the campus center, which was transformed into an acrylic ice skating rink.

“We did a rock wall a few years ago at Winterfest, so the ice skating rink will be this year’s main attraction,” Gomez said.

Students seemed to enjoy the makeshift rink, which featured lights and music.

Elijah Van Vlack, ’22, said he enjoyed the skating and the Winterfest event overall.

“It’s not as good as real ice, but it’s nice,” Van Vlack said. “I like that they put (Winterfest) together.”

Jennifer Miller, ’19, also tried out the acrylic rink.

“It was fun,” she said, “but I had to get off because the skates were hurting my ankles a little bit, but it was easier once you got used to moving around.”

Unfortunately for the theme of Winterfest, there was no snow on the ground for the event, which caused organizers to modify some of the events.

“It’s funny because the weather’s not really Winterfest appropriate,” Gomez said. “So we had to nix the snowman building competition.”