December 14, 2010
Fireworks, Carolers and Santa Help Mark
St. John’s 20th Annual Winter Carnival
Students, professors and staff rode horse-drawn carriages,
listened to carols and gathered for a Christmas tree lighting
during a week of festivities marking St. John’s University’s
popular Winter Carnival.
from December 2 to 7, the activities drew more than 3,000
participants — a record number. “Winter Carnival has come to embody
the strong spirit of community that distinguishes St. John’s,” said
Cox ‘98C, ‘02GEd, Director of Campus
Activities at the Queens campus.
“Here at the Queens campus, it’s the Carnival’s 20th Anniversary,
so we wanted to acknowledge it in a special way. The efforts of our
students and administrators allowed us to do just that.”
The Staten Island
campus also held Winter Carnival with a full slate of its own
activities celebrating the Holiday Season. “Our students loved
decorating gingerbread houses and stockings, taking pictures in the
Christmas photo booth and receiving a special visit from Santa,”
said Chadwin Sandifer, Director of Student Life at Staten Island.
“It was a great way for the community to come together to close out
the semester and celebrate the holiday season.”
Staten Island Gallery
Queens Photo Gallery
Festivities at the Staten Island campus included a Winter Carnival
Open House at the
Campus Ministry Center in Notre Dame House. Students colored
Christmas ornaments while enjoying Christmas cookies and hot
chocolate. At 4:30 p.m., many students, professors and
administrators joined for Advent Mass. After Mass, the campus
community gathered as Rev. Peter Albano, C.M., provided the
Benediction for the Christmas tree lighting.
“This was a fantastic way to conclude the fall semester,” said
Chris Saliba ’12C. “Winter Carnival brought everyone together —
students, faculty and administrators — in the close-knit atmosphere
that’s so much a part of our campus.”
At the Queens campus, the week-long celebration began with a
“Festival of Lights,” highlighting the season’s varied religious
and cultural traditions. The week continued with a Christmas Jazz
Coffeehouse; a concert by the Voices of Victory Gospel Choir and
Sinai’s Radiant Liturgical Dance Team; and a “Live, Love, Learn”
On Monday, the Queens campus was treated to “A Central Park
Christmas.” Carolers in Victorian dress and “Toy Soldiers” strolled
from building to building. Visitors to the Great Lawn enjoyed free
cookies and hot chocolate as horse-and-carriages provided free
The festivities came to a conclusion on Tuesday — literally with a
bang. In the D’Angelo
Center, students visited “Santa’s Workshop,” where they
designed holiday cookies, sampled sweets at the Christmas Candy
Corner and took pictures with Old St. Nick.
At 5 p.m., students, professors and staff packed St.
Thomas More Church for the Winter Carnival Community Mass.
Afterward, the Great Lawn burst into life for a “New York City
Christmas Spectacular.” Street vendors offered free hot dogs,
pretzels, popcorn, cotton candy and hot chocolate.
Then came the annual lighting of the University’s Christmas tree, a
laser light show and the high point of the day — magnificent
fireworks by renowned Grucci Display. At 7 p.m. Red Storm
fans gathered in Carnesecca
Arena to watch the men’s basketball team take on St.
Bonaventure in the St. John’s “Holiday Classic.”
The Carnival owed its success to “a great deal of hard work,” said
Tami Telford ‘11CPS, Vice President of Student
Government. “This was one for the records. It means even more
when we think of the students and administrators who did so much to
make it all happen.”
“It was a great send-off for everyone as we closed the fall
semester,” said John Marchi ‘13TCB, the Student Affairs Committee
Chair. “This 20th Annual Winter Carnival not only brought the St.
John’s family together to celebrate the Holiday, but it also gave
students something fun to do before finals.”