Winter Carnival to let campus chill with ice cream, 5K race

Zach Fridell

Horse-drawn wagon rides, a one-ton ice cream sundae and a 5K run with scantily clad runners aims to temporarily lift winter’s gloom from Northwestern as Winter Carnival 2004 blows through campus.

The carnival, held from today to Sunday, will include more than 20 events coordinated by students groups and NU. The festival’s co-sponsors are the Center for Student Involvement and the Northwestern Class Alliance.

Jeremy Wingerter, associate director of the Center for Student Involvement, said the carnival is an old NU tradition that died out but was revived two years ago. Although the festival is popular, Wingerter said attendance is unpredictable.

“The turnout for these events all depends on the weather,” he said. “Two years ago, when it was warm, we had almost 1,000 people show up for the 1-ton sundae.”

The weather already has changed plans for several events. The sundae was originally slated to be distributed at The Rock, but now it will be available on the ground floor of Norris University Center on Friday at noon.

An opening show tonight will feature performances by a cappella groups X-Factors, Purple Haze and Freshman Fifteen. Dance groups Graffiti Dancers and TONIK Tap and comedy troupes Mee-ow and Titanic Players also will perform.

“We brought together a fantastic group of performers, dancers and comedy performers,” said Medill sophomore Suzy Ru, a carnival organizers. “Hopefully that, in addition to the fact that it’s free, will encourage people to get out.”

The Northwestern Class Alliance will co-sponsor the third annual 5K “Dare to Bare” Run. Runners are encouraged to take off an article of clothing for each of the three laps they run around the Lakefill, although stripping “is not mandatory,” emphasized Lauren Rosen, NCA’s vice president for public relations. “But it is tradition, you could say.”

The 2003 women’s division winner, Julie Lipinski, said that she ended the race fully dressed but noticed strange clothes on other runners.

“There were a few guys out there in thongs,” the Education sophomore said. “I ended up in my normal clothes. You don’t have to get naked.”

Last year 53 runners braved the cold to compete, said Rosen, a Communication sophomore. NCA hopes to see 60 runners this year.

The carnival will end Sunday in The Gathering Place at Norris with a Super Bowl party where students can watch the New England Patriots and the North Carolina Panthers face off while enjoying free food and door prizes.

For a complete event list, visit www.northwestern.edu/norris/wintercarnival.html.