This month’s warm temperatures paired nicely with this year’s theme for the annual Winter Carnival—“Polar Bearadise!”—that was held on Feb. 20. The event was held in the East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV) and Houston Field House. Activities included ice skating, food, live music, carnival-themed games, a tropical-themed obstacle course, free juggling lessons, performances by Rensselaer musical groups and “A Different Spin Fire Jugglers,” and much more.
More than 1,500 Rensselaer students, faculty, staff, families, and members of the local community attended this year’s carnival. The annual event is sponsored by the Office of the President, along with the Division of Student Life and the Division of Administration, and the Rensselaer Union.
According to Institute Archives and Special Collections, mid-winter festivities with various names have come and gone over the years at Rensselaer. In 1949, the junior class planned a Snowflake Saturnalia dance in lieu of the Junior Prom. The Rensselaer Outing Club organized outdoor activities during the 24 hours leading up to Saturnalia and dubbed it “Winter Weekend.” The schedule of events included: skating on South Field, “amusing games” on ice, a snow sculpture contest, and bobsled, snowshoe, and ski races. See more from the “RPI History Revealed” blog post curated by Institute Archives.