Winter Carnival, a University of Denver student tradition for 53 years, carved new ground this year, opening its gates to faculty, staff, alumni and their guests.
“We’ve had opportunities for the faculty and staff to register before, but officially, this was the first year,” says Jill Duffy, assistant director of student activities.
Even though the celebration landed on Super Bowl weekend, there were about 1,000 participants, including 29 alumni and their guests, seven parents and their guests, and nine faculty or staff members and their guests. With a successful launch, the planning team intends to continue inviting the entire DU community for future Winter Carnivals.
“Since it’s such a student tradition, it will take a few years to get the word around,” Duffy says.
Skiing, ice-skating, snow tubing and a winter concert were among the activities at the carnival, which took place Jan. 31–Feb. 2 in Keystone, Colo. Other events — including a chili cookoff, Instagram photo competitions and painting sessions — took place on campus and were open to anyone with ties to the DU community.
“I think everybody was ready for it,” says Neda Kikhia, co-chair of the DU Programming Board traditions committee. “DU is so good at having fun, doing something that hasn’t been done and making a community.”
Kikhia, a sophomore majoring in communications and religion, says she was excited to plan a memorable college experience and loved how creative and passionate her committee got with the events.
“This is a unique DU tradition,” Kikhia says. “It’s one of the most incredible experiences, especially if you’re not from Colorado.”
The 2015 Winter Carnival is planned for Feb. 6–Feb. 8, again at Keystone, with events on campus leading up to the weekend.