Steam Into Winter: Winter Carnival Traditions at UNH

January 28 - February 27, 2004
Dale Valena, Museum Curator

A skating man jumps over six barrels and another man.

Winter Carnival is an annual UNH snow celebration that started in 1922, sponsored by the Forestry Club. In 1924 the Outing Club took over the responsibilities. The weekend-long festival was considered an athletic and social highlight of the dark winter semester that included ski, skate, sled, and snowshoe competitions; a Carnival Ball; banquets; and pageants. In the early years, the celebration was thematic and included an official program. The dorms, fraternities, and sororities constructed elaborate snow sculptures based on the theme of the year. A prize was awarded to the best sculpture.

In recent years, however, unreliable weather has put a damper on snow-dependent events. Today's students have taken Winter Carnival inside the MUB, where they shake the winter doldrums with a variety of events. This mini-exhibit provided a reminder of what Winter Carnival could be, given a nice blizzard or two.

Woman riding a horse in the snow A man stands in front of a snow replica of the Old Man in the Mountain Students create a train engine snow sculpture