On Friday, Jan. 19, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) held its inaugural Winterfest in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center. The event was hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) Programs Board, led by Assistant Director of Student Activities, Elizabeth “Biz” DeGrandpre and Executive Director of Student Life, Derek Young.
After a grueling first week of the Spring semester, Winterfest provided a fun way for SMCM students to let loose and have a good time on a Friday night while staying on campus. “We wanted students to have a chance to get their mind off of the busy week they just had, and enjoy themselves with friends while meeting new ones,” explained DeGrandpre.
The event included four inflatables, including an obstacle course, a bungee partner race, a jousting ring and a basketball court. Attendees also had the opportunity to enter into a raffle to win $100 worth of items from the campus store, as well as have caricatures of themselves drawn by an outside artist. Hot chocolate, popcorn and cotton candy were provided for the enjoyment of the students.
DeGrandpre noted that the preparation for the event began in the early fall. Members of Programs Board were responsible for finding vendors for the inflatables, cotton candy, and caricatures, reaching out to Hawk Radio to provide music throughout the night, staffing the event with members of Programs Board, and developing and executing a marketing plan.
Programs Board worked hard to promote the event through flyers around campus, Inside SMCM emails, signs along the path, and even distributed cards throughout the day which students could bring to enter in the raffle.
Gretchen Young (‘22) found out about the event through the Program Board’s Instagram page. Young enjoyed the various inflatables, stating that the partner race inflatable was her favorite. “It was a lot of fun,” remarked Young. “I’d never seen anything like it before.”
As for the turnout, DeGrandpre mentioned that “it was amazing to have over 200 students from every year come out to enjoy the event.” Programs Board members, who were there passing out swag bags to the attendees, even ran out of bags— a good indication that the event was a success.
While Winterfest made its debut this year, DeGrandpre expresses her hope for the event to return next year, stating “We hope for this to continue as an annual event during the Programs Board spring semester Welcome Week.” The Programs Board hopes to maintain the same sort of attractions for the event in the years to come.
Programs Board has many more events up their sleeves for the remainder of the semester. The next event, an SMCM Top Chef Competition, will be held on Feb. 7. These events, like Winterfest and the Top Chef Competition, are great opportunities for SMCM students to enjoy a night of fun, free of cost while remaining right here on campus.