This year marks the 95th anniversary of Winter Carnival—a week-long Bates College tradition and the second oldest winter festival in the nation. The Bates Outing Club is collaborating once again with the Chase Hall Committee to combine traditional seasonal activities with dancing and inflatable fun. Winter Carnival is about campus-wide unity, BOC Vice President Grace Pezzella said. In Carnivals past, dorms competed with each other, building snow sculptures throughout the week. “This year, we’re trying to recapture that spirit of unity by offering a wide range of events for people with all skill and interest levels,” Pezzella said, “from ice skating and hot chocolate drinking in Underhill Arena to night sledding on Mt. David to a beginner-friendly event at Lost Valley.”

Events are scheduled throughout the week beginning on Tuesday, January 20th with Commons tray sledding down Mt. David. For the Bates Outing Club, Wednesday boasts a packed schedule of Skill and Grill, a chance to show of your snowsport skills with the Shred Club, ice skating in Underhill, and a Wine Down Wednesday. On Thursday, students can hit the slopes at Bates Night at Lost Valley Ski Resort and enjoy some drinks at the newly renovated lodge. Weekday activities culminate with the Torch Run to frozen Puddle Jump, where BOC members will be waiting to pull participants out of the murky depths of Lake Andrews. The Chase Hall Committee is hosting Tuesday Big Prize Bingo, Wednesday Acapella concert in Alumni Gym, Friday Late Night Breakfast and going out with a denim-filled bang with Saturday’s beloved 90s Dance in the Library Arcade. For a full list of scheduled events, see the Forum section in this issue of the Bates Student, posters around campus, announce emails and CHC’s page on the Bates website.

New events are on this year’s schedule, while others are receiving a makeover. Sophomores Hannah Tolan and Tara Khanmalek, CHC’s Winter Carnival Chairs, have worked to weave CHC and BOC events together, without too many overlapping time slots. “A few new things this semester include a Cookie Eating Competition with the Fat Cats, an Instagram contest, and a specialty drink at the Ronj” Tolan said.

The largest change is the running of the torch to kick off the Puddle Jump. The new and improved Torch Run will now take place on campus. “In the past, a team of students would run a torch from the steps of the Capitol in Augusta to Bates,” Pezzella said, “but fire codes have changed since then.” Torch runners can no longer be within a certain range of vehicles with an open flame. Jim Guzelian of Health and Safety suggested hosting the event on campus to create a more community-oriented feel. “This way, more students will be able to participate and we won’t need a police escort!” Pezzella said.

First Years get a chance to experience a famous Bates tradition. “Im excited to have that Carnival feel around campus. I hope that a lot of people get involved and go do these awesome activities” First Year Bria Riggs said.

Many Seniors have fond memories of Bates winter fun—each Winter Carnival is unique. “It is cool to see how Winter Carnival has evolved over my four years here,” Senior Caroline Caldwell said. “It’s always kick-ass regardless of weather. I have pulled people out of the puddle when it was negative five degrees outside…I’m so excited!” This year’s forecast for Friday is a balmy 28 degrees.

“There’s something about plunging into frigid waters clad in colorful spandex or a tutu and realizing your hair and eyelashes have frozen before you’ve even scrambled out of the Puddle that just really reaffirms how beautiful life is” Pezzella said.