Origins of Winterfest
Dogsled racing, as seen in this photograph from 1981, was a popular activity during previous Winterfest celebrations. Originally called Winter Carnival, the first such event took place in February 1948 and was organized by the Norton Hall Sitzmarkers. The Sitzmarkers, a forerunner of the current Schussmeisters Ski Club, had been organized in 1947. Winter Carnival 1948 was one the group’s first events.
Winter Carnival continued annually into the 1960s and featured cross-country skiing, ski races, snow-sculpturing competitions and the naming of a festival king and queen. After a hiatus of several years, this opportunity for winter fun resumed in 1976 with the Schussmeisters Ski Club as one of the organizers.
Memorable activities have included a beard-growing contest in 1952 and in 1993, a game called “UBopoly,” played on a very large board in Alumni Arena.
Winterfest 2012 is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18.
—John Edens, University Archives