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view of Dartmouth College from Baker Tower

With weekends at the Skiway, sledding on the golf course and ice skating on the Green, I didn't know winter at Dartmouth could get any better. But Winter Carnival proved me wrong! Each term, Dartmouth has a "big weekend" packed with several fun activities. In the fall, it was Homecoming Weekend and, in the spring, it's the Green Key music festival.

Every winter, Dartmouth hosts the Winter Carnival. It might not seem like a big deal to some, but Winter Carnival is a 112-year-old tradition that celebrates the fun and beauty of the winter season and the achievements of Dartmouth's winter sports teams. One blog post cannot describe just how many fun things there were to do this weekend, so I'll give you a list that's as long as my word limit will allow: hockey games, ski races, skiing and snowboarding at the Dartmouth Skiway (for free!), Baker Library Tower tours, human dogsled races, rock concerts, a chili cookoff, casino games, the "polar plunge" and snow sculpture carving.

I wish it was humanly possible to do every single one of these, but Winter Carnival is only for about three days. One of the first activities for the weekend was the polar plunge on Friday afternoon. It was a surprisingly warm day with a warm sun and clear skies. Hundreds of Dartmouth students headed to Occom Pond for a short swim in the (literally) ice-cold water, a tradition known as the polar plunge.

Dartmouth students at Occom Pond

Various student groups and organizations could also sign up to carve ice sculptures over the weekend. There was a safety training to teach you how to have the most fun carving ice without getting hurt, but you could carve anything you wanted. There were nearly twenty entries with my personal favorites being Perry the Platypus and a man holding a smoking gun.

ice sculpture
ice sculpture

Apart from these, Dartmouth students also had the chance to cheer on the Dartmouth Ice Hockey teams in home games against Quinnipiac, Yale, Brown and Princeton. One of my favorite student-run organizations at Dartmouth is Friday Night Rock, an organization that hosts musicians about three times a term. This weekend, they invited an awesome rock band, Husbands, to perform at the Collis Student Center.

musicians performing at a concert

I'm so thrilled that I was able to enjoy what I think is one of Dartmouth's most spectacular and underrated traditions. Winter term is turning out to be even more fun that I thought it would be in so many ways.

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