WinterFest allows students to have fun before finals


Students peruse glass, pottery, prints, jewelry and more for sale at the WinterFest Art Mart in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union on Thursday, Dec. 5. Proceeds support organizations and local artists. 

Logan Olson

WinterFest is a standing tradition at Iowa State that allows students to burn off some steam before finals and the community to become involved on campus.

“There are so many things to be grateful for with the holiday season around the corner, and being an Iowa State student is one of them,” said Ashley Fall, co-director of WinterFest and junior in marketing. “This is just our appreciation and celebration for all students, faculty and staff before most individuals leave for Winter Break.” 

The events begin Friday, Dec. 6, and continue through Saturday, Dec. 7.

Morgan Bobb, co-director of WinterFest and senior in nutritional science, said the free ice skating at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena from 12:30 to 2 a.m. Friday is one of the events that should have a good turnout. The first 400 people will be admitted free, and then it will cost $1. 

Bobb said there will also be many festivities throughout the day. One of these is the Art Mart, which will be set up in the Campanile Room, and will allow comers to purchase different handmade art from pottery to prints to jewelry.

There will be an open house at the Farm House Museum from noon to 4 p.m. Bobb said this event is free and gives people the opportunity to enjoy a cup of cider as they explore Iowa State’s oldest building decorated in 1900s decor.

The Knoll, the university president’s house, will also be open to the public for an open house from 3 to 5 p.m.

From there students and community members can experience a tour of the Campanile from 4 to 6 p.m., guided by university carillonneur Tin Shi Tam.

At 6 p.m., the Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in front of Beardshear Hall, which was brought back this year due to interest from ISU alumni.

Roger and Sybil Hunziker, who attended Iowa State in the early 1960s, actually had their first date at WinterFest. Celebrating their 50th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 7, the memory of this beginning is still a strong one.

“I am most looking forward to the Tree Lighting Ceremony because we are bringing this WinterFest tradition back this year,” Fall said. “I think it will be a great way to kick off the whole night of fun activities. All of the events will be great.”

Following the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Jingle Jog will begin at 6 p.m. on Central Campus. The 5K this year is in memory of Andy Albright, a former member of the Freshmen Council. The proceeds will go to a memorial for him.

Throughout the evening there will also be crafts, bingo, karaoke, a magician, a mentalist and ice skating all free to the public and located throughout the campus.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Art Mart will be open again from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and there will also be a Craft Crawl across the Ames area.

“I think we will have a great turnout like we do every year,” Fall said. “We have great entertainment and activities. Everyone can find something they would want to participate in.”