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Clarkson University Ice Carnival Returns Next Week

Clarkson University students have heard stories about the “Ice Carnivals” of previous decades -- tales of giant ice sculptures towering over Potsdam and the entire Village of Potsdam participating in winter events.

Ice sculptures towered over Potsdam’s streets during the Clarkson University Ice Carnivals held in previous decades.This winter, the students want to do more than hear about memories of old Carnivals. They’re ready to make new memories of their own.

The 2013 Clarkson Ice Carnival, “Go Snow Yourself,” will be held from January 27 to February 2. Clarkson Residence Life, Student Life and Engagement, and eight fraternities and sororities are co-sponsoring and organizing the event.

The weeklong carnival will provide students an opportunity to take advantage of all that winter has to offer, according to Megan Burke, public relations committee chair for the Clarkson University Student Association. The event sponsors are trying to restore the carnival to its former prominence, she said.

“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, a former staple of winter life in Potsdam, will return. The students hope to eventually create ice sculptures that rivaled the ambition and creativity of the sculptures from the 1970s and 1980s, Burke said. Weather permitting, the sculptures will be judged from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 30, on the grounds surrounding the Student Center and in front of the off-campus Greek houses.

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.”

The “Ice Carnival Kickoff” is from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, January 27, outside the Student Center and includes a cookout, s’mores, hot chocolate and a pie eating contest. The public can view the window paintings on display in the Student Center, which will be judged from 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, January 28, and watch the human dog sled/ soapbox races at 6 p.m. January 29 on Bagdad Field.  

Get your photos taken with Clarkson’s Golden Knight and decorate sugar cookies at an alumni reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 1, in the Brilbeck Pub in the Student Center.

Students are traveling to Ottawa February 2 for Winterlude and will return for the annual “Ice Ball” dance that night. 

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at]

Photo caption: 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 January 27 to February 2.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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