Winterfest this weekend


Courtesy of Brianna Levandowski

Students gather at the president’s house, known as the Knoll, for hot chocolate with President Steven Leath and First Lady Janet Leath during WinterFest on Dec. 5. 

Anthony Weiland

For more than two decades, ISU students and the Ames community have been able to participate in WinterFest, a pre-Dead Week celebration of the upcoming holiday season.

On Friday, starting at 10 a.m. in the Memorial Union, attendees will be able to partake in the ISU tradition once again.

“[WinterFest] is an annual tradition that both the Ames community and the university look forward to,” said Bridgett Konradi, senior in event management and WinterFest president. “With a lot of activities to spread holiday cheer to get people ready for the holidays.”

WinterFest offers activities throughout the day Friday at different and overlapping times to ensure there is a time everyone can participate.

This year’s WinterFest activities are varied. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. will be an Art Mart in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. Here students can purchase pottery, jewelry, prints and more. 

There will also be an open house at the Knoll, the president’s house, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Members of the community can tour President Steven Leath’s residence and are welcome to enjoy the “famous Knoll hot chocolate.”

The Andy Albright Jingle Jog will begin at 5:30 p.m. with registration starting at the Multicultural Center of the Memorial Union at 4 p.m. The registration fee is $20 and all proceeds go to the Andy Albright memorial scholarship.

WinterFest will also play host to Campanille tours, photos with the Snow Princess and Ice Queen and eats and treats in the Memorial Union commons from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There will also be aqua massage beds in the Pine Room of the Memorial Union between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. The beds are aimed to help students cool off and unwind before they face finals week.

At 10:30 p.m. in the food court of the Memorial Union late-night pancakes will be served. The pancakes will be free for all, and will follow an act by comedian Demitri Martin, which begins at 9 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Tickets to Martin’s performance are $12 for all Iowa State students and $20 for members of the general public. 

“There’s an activity for everybody, whether it’s somebody going for late night pancakes, going ice skating or families coming to take pictures with the princess, there’s a wide variety of activities for everybody,” Konradi said.

WinterFest draws a crowd of more than 500 patrons, with the Ames community making up a large part of that number.

“A lot of people from the community come too, which is really fun to see,” said Leah Blankespoor, sophomore in event management and co-event manager for WinterFest.

That relationship with member of the Ames community is part of what Konradi feels is integral to how well the university and the citizens of Ames mesh together. 

“WinterFest at [Iowa State] is important because it builds the relationship between the community and the university,” Konradi said.