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>  News Releases >   2009 >   February

Winter Carnival sculpture falls, students rebuild

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 02/12/09 • Media Contact: Steven J. Smith (603) 646-3661

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Snow sculpture
Zack Zehner '09 and Benjy Meigs '10, co-chairs of the Winter Carnival sculpture committee, stand atop the snow sculpture that was revised overnight. (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Northern New England's annual 'January thaw' arrived in mid February this year and took down the planned snow sculpture on the Dartmouth Green that has symbolized the College's famed Winter Carnival since it was launched in 1911. But students rallied overnight to construct a substitute, and Carnival will continue, this year celebrating the centennial of the Dartmouth Outing Club that gave birth to the event.

After the snow sculpture of the Mt. Moosilauke Ravine Lodge partially collapsed due to thawing temperatures and was taken down for safety reasons, about 100 Dartmouth students worked through rainy and muddy conditions Wednesday night to rebuild. It took them about 10 hours to form a substitute sculpture of two mountain peaks representing the north and south peaks of Mount Moosilauke, with Baker Tower in the background.

"My legs were soaked by this morning," said Zack Zehner '09, co-chair of the sculpture committee as he surveyed the scene after a Thursday morning class. "But the turnout was impressive. There was an assembly line with 50-60 people hauling buckets at about midnight. It was a memorable sight." Zehner said that ten students, including himself and engineer Benjy Meigs '10, worked the entire night and celebrated by dragging their soggy selves into Lou's diner when it opened at 6 a.m.

After the original sculpture was dismantled, when students had about 24 hours before the opening ceremonies for Carnival, juniors Andrew Palmer, president of the DOC, and Max Friedman, DOC Centennial coordinator, sent out an email that read: "We urge you to recognize the importance of maintaining the snow sculpture because it - like Trips, Homecoming, and the rest of Dartmouth's traditions - truly makes the College unique. We will be on the Green from now until opening ceremonies tomorrow. I urge you to come join us for as long as you can. This school is a special place. Please help maintain the traditions that make it so."

Randy Brown, of Dartmouth's Office of Conferences and Special Events, has overseen the sculpture work along with the Office of Facilities Operation and Management and others to ensure its safety. "They could have easily thrown their hands up and given up but they rallied and came out to help their fellow students," said Brown. "It was an impressive, heartwarming response."

Winter Carnival events are scheduled to continue with NCAA ski races, the Polar Bear Swim at noon Friday, the Occom Pond Party at noon Saturday, as well as an array of other athletic and cultural activities.


After one large wall collapsed, the original sculpture was dismantled by a backhoe because of safety concerns. (video by Martin Grant)

Students rallied overnight to form the mass of snow into a representation of Moosilauke Mountain. (video by Martin Grant)

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