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Nov. 21, 2008

Embrace winter at WinterFest 2008

by Paula Van Brocklin

Before the holiday hustle-bustle hits, take time to embrace the joy of winter during WinterFest 2008, slated for Wednesday, Dec. 3.

Open to the Ames and campus communities, WinterFest promises fun for all. Erica Ott, chair of this year's festival and a graduate student in educational leadership and policy studies, admits December can be a stressful time of year for students and employees alike.

"I hope WinterFest helps people enjoy and slip into winter on the right foot," Ott said.

Cookie line

Decorating cookies (and eating them, no doubt) is a favorite treat for kids of all ages during WinterFest. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Old favorites

Past WinterFest favorites return this year, including campanile tours, carriage rides and cookie decorating. And, the signature event of the festival -- the illumination ceremony -- takes center stage at 5:30 p.m. on the steps of Curtiss Hall. Besides blanketing campus in holiday lights, this event features concerts by university carillonneur Tin-Shi Tam and the a capella group All in Moderation.

WinterFest also offers plenty of holiday shopping opportunities. University Book Store is holding an open house from 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. with an abundance of special events. The first 100 customers will receive a free gift with purchase. All customers can take advantage of a 25 percent discount all day on most items. Also, there will be art and Apple computer demonstrations, giveways, a book signing and refreshments. Customers who make a purchase will enjoy one hour of free parking in the MU parking ramp.

If you're looking for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, stop by Art Mart between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Maintenance Shop, MU. Pottery, jewelry, scarves, prints, blown glass, baskets and more will be available. Art Mart also is open Dec. 2, noon to 5 p.m.

What's new?

WinterFest 2008 sports several new events.

The festival coincides with ISU's recognition of World AIDS Week (Dec. 1-6). The AIDS Quilt will be on display from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the Great Hall, MU. Each quilt panel is a memorial to a life lost to AIDS. Begun in 1987, the AIDS Quilt is the world's largest ongoing community arts project. The quilt also will be on display Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Andy Albright Jingle Jog 5K run/walk returns, but with a twist. Participants will receive bells for their sneakers, truly making it a "jingle" jog. Registration is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the MU Cardinal Room. The race begins at 5:45 p.m. at the steps of Curtiss. Register in advance at Cost is $10. Proceeds benefit the Freshman Council Andy Albright Scholarship fund.

Guests are invited to tour the new multicultural center (second floor, MU) and decorate snowflakes. Stop by between 5 and 9 p.m.

Get something for yourself and give to those in need at the Empty Bowl Project fund-raiser from 5 to 7 p.m. in the MU Campanile Room. Purchase a bowl created by a local artist, and fill it with soup for dinner. Cost is $9 ($7 for students , $5 for kids 10 and under). Save $1 with a nonperishable food donation. Proceeds benefit Mid-Iowa Community Action and Oxfam.

But wait, there's more

WinterFest wouldn't be complete without enjoying a silky smooth hot chocolate at The Knoll. The holiday open house will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Kathy Geoffroy invites guests to view the home's holiday decorations and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

WinterFest 2008 Schedule

(Events are free unless indicated)

Wednesday, Dec. 3

  • 7:45 a.m.-7 p.m., Open house, University Book Store, discounts, giveaways and refreshments, art demonstrations (1 p.m.), Apple computer demonstrations (5:30 p.m.), book signing with Chuck Richards, ISU design (6 p.m.), MU.
  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Open house, Copy Centers, cookies and punch, giveaways, MU, UDCC, Parks Library, Scheman, Printing and Publications Building, make holiday cards at the UDCC photo kiosk.
  • 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Exhibit, AIDS Quilt, (also Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.), Great Hall, MU.
  • 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Art Mart, hand-crafted art (also Dec. 2, noon-5 p.m.), Maintenance Shop, MU.
  • 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Summer sausage and cheese sale, Block and Bridle Club, UBS lobby, MU.
  • 4:30-5 p.m. and 6-6:30 p.m., campanile tours, central campus.
  • 5-7 p.m., Empty Bowl Project, purchase hand-made bowl and soup, $9; $7 students; $5 10 and under; $1 off with nonperishable food item, benefits MICA and Oxfam, Cardinal Room, MU.
  • 5-9 p.m., Crafts, decorate ornaments, make beaded necklaces, try origami, Workspace, MU.
  • 5-9 p.m., Snowflake decorating, multicultural center, MU.
  • 5:30 p.m., Illumination ceremony, carillon and a capella concerts, Curtiss steps.
  • 5:45-7 p.m., Andy Albright Jingle Jog 5K, $10, steps of Curtiss.
  • 6-9 p.m., Cookie decorating and hot chocolate, Pine Room, MU.
  • 6-8 p.m., Carriage rides, central campus, pick up on MU north side.
  • 9 p.m.-midnight, Snow glow bowling, Underground, MU.
  • 10 p.m., Grandma Mojo's Moonshine Revival, student comedy troupe holiday show, $1, Maintenance Shop, MU.

Friday, Dec. 5

  • 3-5 p.m., Open house, The Knoll, hosted by Kathy Geoffroy, hot chocolate.


"I hope WinterFest helps people enjoy and slip into winter on the right foot."

-- Erica Ott, Winterfest chair