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Monday, September 26, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

UB's Winterfest to Celebrate the Snowy Season

The temperatures in Buffalo have dropped and the snow is piling up, which means it's time for the second-annual UB Winterfest. This indoor and outdoor festival offers a plethora of activities, including UB-style curling, snow dodgeball, broomball, a horse-drawn sleigh, and polar-bear kickball.

Holding winter festivals has been a tradition at UB for over 50 years. The Norton Hall Sitzmarkers, who are relatives of today's Schussmeisters Ski Club, held the first event of its kind, called Winter Carnival, in 1948. The Carnival continued for years into the 1960s, took a hiatus until 1976, and resumed for years after that.

"[The festival] originated as a housing event, and then grew because of the interest to a campus-wide event," said Tom Tiberi, interim director of Student Life. "There were some festivals in the past, but they didn't utilize the lake, and it wasn't quite the same initiative."

This year, the festival will provide ice skates for skating on Lake LaSalle, an ice-rescue demonstration, human dogsled races, and a snowman- and igloo-building contest. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive gold, silver, and bronze medals as well as team trophies. First-place winners will receive gift cards from Tim Hortons, Starbucks, or local movie theaters.

The event is free to all UB students, faculty, and staff, and it is sponsored by UB's Division of Student Affairs, Division of Athletics, Division of University Facilities, Residence Hall Association, Undergraduate Student Association, Department of Biological Sciences, and the Getzville Fire Department's Water Rescue Team.

"[As] a new tradition, we are trying to get more student representation on the committee," said Kerri Spicer, the associate director of student unions and activities and the co-chair of Winterfest.

Students must sign up for certain events that they wish to participate in, like broomball, snowman building, snow dodgeball, and the human dogsled races. The size of groups allowed varies depending on the activity, with 10 for a broomball team and 20 for the igloo-making contest. Students can register at

"It's Buffalo – embrace the cold and embrace the snow. We have this great lake we get to utilize, [it's] something else to do in the wintertime, and it's great to have an opportunity to embrace winter activities," Spicer said.

Winterfest 2011 will take place on Saturday with activities beginning at 1 p.m., awards given at 6 p.m., and ice skating lasting until 9 p.m.


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