Not all Fun and Games: Winterfest ’09

On Saturday, March 7, the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) Special Events Committee sponsored Winterfest, an annual event held to celebrate the cold weather and snow so characteristic of Colgate. About 20 teams competed against each other in nine different activities, including inflatable human foosball, dizzy bat, trivia, three-legged races and water flip-cup. Half of these events were held indoors in Huntington Gymnasium, while the other half were held outside on Whitnall Field.

One of the most popular events was called Chubby Bunny, in which competitors had to stuff as many marshmallows into their mouths as possible while still being able to pronounce the phrase “chubby bunny.” While some teams were formed by different groups of first-year dorms and friends, others consisted of campus organizations, such as Outdoor Education, Club Frisbee, Theta Chi, Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Delta Theta. Every team had a detailed event schedule ensuring that each team would compete in every event.

In years past, Winterfest involved snow activities. However, this year, Winterfest took place on a sunny Saturday with a high of 50 degrees. As a result, Whitnall Field was covered in mud. Outside events, such as dizzy bat and the three-legged race, quickly turned into mud sliding competitions. Muddy participants then reentered Huntington Gym to continue competing, but tracked in dirt as well. CAB advisors decided to end Winterfest early to prevent more muddy chaos from ensuing.

“It was a mud-fest outside, and we had to make a decision,” CAB Special Events Coordinator junior Joanna Sherman said. “We didn’t want the gym staff to have more work cleaning the mud. Some people got a little out of control and just too messy.”

Sherman also stated that the Winterfest activities caused some damage.

“Some of the inflatables were ripped by teams, so we are waiting to hear from the inflatables company about how much money the damages will cost,” Sherman said. “We’ve already been billed by B&G for a table which was broken because members of a team were jumping on top of it.”

For this reason, the winning teams have not been notified in case the prize money must instead be used to pay for the damages.

Another major obstacle that occurred at this year’s Winterfest was that the inflatables arrived an hour and a half late. The inflatables’ late arrival delayed the teams that were supposed to participate in those events first, and subsequently caused problems with all of the teams’ schedules.

“The schedules were completely messed up,” CAB member sophomore Allyson Poulos said. “I was a judge outside, and so we often declared winners when other teams didn’t show up. In reality, the events inside were just running slower than those outside. It became really disorganized and chaotic. Also, the teams were getting the inflatables muddy, so the CAB advisors decided to end the event before we were fined. Overall, I had a great time judging. All of the teams had lots of spirit and were so fun to watch in the competitions.”

However, in the competitors’ opinions, the chaos and the mud made Winterfest even more exciting than it usually is.

“It was a great, muddy experience,” sophomore Nathan Dalrymple of the Phi Delta Theta team said. “We were outside having fun in the mud, tackling each other and competing [against the other teams].”

“It was unorganized, but it was so much fun,” sophomore Andrew Pettit, another member of the Phi Delta Theta team, said. “The shirts were also awesome. Although, I was kind of upset that my team’s color was brown.”

Due to this year’s disorganized and messy Winterfest, CAB members are currently debating whether or not to cancel Winterfest for next year.

“We had such a great time,” sophomore Ali McMurtrie of the Club Frisbee Winterfest team said. “It would be a big shame if CAB cancelled Winterfest. It’s something that we all really look forward to, and it would be so unfortunate if it didn’t take place next year.”

Pettit echoed McMurtrie’s sentiment.

“It’d probably be the worst thing to happen all spring if Winterfest were cancelled,” Pettit said. “I had been looking forward to Winterfest since last spring. I know lots of people who are already getting excited for it next year.”