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Eastern transformed into a 'winter wonderland' for WinterFest

Published on February 08, 2023

Eastern transformed into a 'winter wonderland' for WinterFest

More than 800 students attended Eastern Connecticut State University’s Winterfest on Feb. 1, an annual tradition that was hosted jointly by the Campus Activity Board (CAB), Chartwell’s and the Student Government Association (SGA).  Students experienced the season’s most beloved traditions and activities — including ice skating, drinking hot cocoa and decorating cookies.  

“I really enjoyed seeing so many members of our campus community come together to enjoy the WinterFest activities this year; it was one of the biggest turnouts ever,” said Alyssa Duffy, the CAB supervisor and associate director of student activities. “Throughout the day we were able to enjoy time with students, faculty, staff and their families. It was amazing!

Duffy said the highlight of WinterFest was the array of activities across campus that students participated in. They explored a 30-foot inflatable igloo-photo booth, skated on a synthetic ice rink, took photos with Willi the Warrior, voted for their favorite flavor of wings at SGA’s Warrior Wednesday Tabling and enjoyed DJ Fire’s music selections.

“WinterFest was super fun! I had such a great time ice skating and taking pictures in the igloo,” said Sadayah Pinott. “As a senior, I really enjoyed it; mostly because I’ve had pictures from my first year at this event, and now I have some as a senior too! It’s something that I will never forget!”

Students enjoying hot cocoa in a 30-ft. igloo.

Students gather with Willi the Warrior to toast marshmallows.

WinterFest attendees show their style.

Students refilling their cups at the hot cocoa station.

Students decorating cookies in Hurley Dining Hall.

Student skating on WinterFest's synthetic ice rink

WinterFest attendee hanging out with Willi the Warrior

Chartwell’s Joe Salvaggio, senior director of dining services, collaborated with Duffy to provide themed menus for lunch and dinner. Dinner offered discounted rates for faculty, staff and students without meal plans. Approximately 500 students attended lunch, and 800 students attended dinner.

Both Duffy and Salvaggio are eager to host next year’s WinterFest. As the annual tradition continues to gain additional attention, Duffy said she is hopeful that student participation will continue to increase in future years.

Written by Jack Jones