Ice sculptures towered over Potsdam’s streets during the Clarkson University Ice Carnivals held in previous decades. Clarkson is bringing back the carnival this year, which will include an ice sculpture contest (weather permitting) from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.
POTSDAM -- Clarkson University will host a throwback ice carnival, titled “Go Snow Yourself,” from Sunday, Jan. 27 to Saturday, Feb. 2.
The carnival will include a cookout, pie-eating contest, window paintings, a human dog sled and soapbox race, an alumni reception and an Ice Ball.
However the real highlight will be the return of the ice sculpture competition from the 1970s and 1980s.
Clarkson University students have heard stories about the “Ice Carnivals” of previous decades -- tales of giant ice sculptures towering over the village of Potsdam. This winter, the students want to do more than hear about the carnivals; they’re ready to make memories of their own.
The students hope to eventually create ice sculptures that rivaled the ambition and creativity of the sculptures from the 1970s and 1980s, said Megan Burke, public relations committee chair for the Clarkson University Student Association.
Weather permitting, the sculptures will be judged from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, on the grounds surrounding the Student Center and in front of the off-campus Greek houses.
The “Ice Carnival Kickoff” will be 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, outside the Student Center and will include a cookout, s’mores, hot chocolate and a pie-eating contest.
Window paintings will be on display in the Student Center, and will be judged from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Human dog sled/soapbox races will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 29 on Bagdad Field.
Meet Clarkson’s Golden Knight and decorate sugar cookies at an alumni reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, in the Brilbeck Pub in the Student Center.
To wrap up the carnival, students are traveling to Ottawa Feb. 2 for Winterlude and will return for the annual “Ice Ball” dance that night.
Clarkson Residence Life, Student Life and Engagement and eight fraternities and sororities are co-sponsoring and organizing the event.
The event sponsors are trying to restore the carnival to its former prominence, said Burke.
“It used to be amazing. That’s what I’ve been told,” Burke said. “Everyone would come out and participate together. I guess we’re just trying to get that unity back on campus.”
If there is enough snow and ice next week, the ice sculpture competition will return.
Clarkson’s fraternities and sororities are also looking forward to the event, according to student Zachary A. Farbanish of the Interfraternity Council.
“This is one event that brings all of Greek life together,” Farbanish said. “I know the potential to bring this back is there.”