Winter Carnival Captures Spirit of the Season

Friday, December 7, 2012

Towering above the Great Lawn on the Queens, NY, campus, the St. John’s University Christmas Tree was lit up on December 6 as students, faculty and staff gathered for the culmination of the University’s annual Winter Carnival — a week-long celebration of the holiday season.

“Seeing all the festivities around campus gets everyone in the holiday spirit,” said Jodi Cox ’98C, ’02G, Director of Campus Life. “Winter Carnival has a special way of unifying the St. John’s community.”

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Now in its 22nd year, Winter Carnival is a beloved St. John’s tradition that gives students a much-needed break before they prepare for finals and the end of the fall semester. “It’s great to have this time to relax and have fun before finals,” said Ashley Kadamthottu ’16TCB. “I love seeing everyone on campus getting into the Christmas spirit.”

During the week leading up to the tree lighting, St. John’s was transformed into a winter wonderland, despite the spring-like temperatures throughout the New York metropolitan area. This year’s Winter Carnival activities included live music, holiday treats, ice skating at Manhattan’s Bryant Park and horse-drawn carriage rides around the Great Lawn. “I love the carriage rides,” said Erika Godoy ‘14C. “It feels just like being in Central Park.”

St. John’s Staten Island campus also held a Winter Carnival, featuring an ice skating rink, a lounge with “mocktails,” a “Stuff-a-Polar-Bear” station and, of course, a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. “Winter Carnival is such an amazing holiday event,” said Audra Goodman, Associate Director of Student Life at the Staten Island, NY, campus. “It brings our tight-knit Staten Island community even closer together. Our students love it.”

Back in Queens, the University community celebrated the Festival of Lights — an educational and spiritual evening of performances, presentations and prayer — to reflect the diverse cultural and faith traditions represented on campus.

“Winter Carnival celebrates our diversity at one of the holiest times of the year,” said Cox.  “The different celebrations and events going on around campus make the entire St. John’s community feel the energy of what this season is all about.”