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Tradition is treasured on the Middlebury College campus, and no tradition is more important than that of Winter Carnival. It is something that brings together the entirety of the town of Middlebury. Whether a person is a student, a faculty member, or a person who lives in town, Winter Carnival brings together the community during a weekend that highlights the brilliance that Middlebury College has to offer. There are many ways in which the carnival has a positive impact on the student body, but the strongest way in which it affects the students is by creating a connection with the community and strengthening the tight-knit feel of the student body. This feel is highlighted by The Campus when it was written in February 1953 that “there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the Middlebury Carnival, and the last mentioned necessity is upon us at the very moment.  As the trains, buses, and dog-sleds unload their weary cargoes, the Carnival ranks grow and reach to every nook on the campus.” Because of Winter Carnival’s ability to manifest popularity among different groups of people, it has succeeded in becoming the most anticipated event of the year.


Winter Carnival Program- 1935


People would come from all over to witness the events of Middlebury’s Winter Carnival. Reporters from out of town would even come to cover the events. It was the time of the Middlebury academic year that generated much publicity for the college. The weekend of the carnival was considered the biggest sporting and social event of the entire year, and it was something that everyone could look forward to. A break from classes was popular among Middlebury students as it occurred during the longest stretch during the academic year. This respite from academics is crucial to students, as academics at Middlebury are known to be extremely challenging and demanding. Winter Carnival gives the students the opportunity to participate in or spectate many different events across campus and at facilities located close by. This eases the tension between the student and the academic atmosphere of the college, and in turn, leads to a more positive relationship between the student population and the college as a whole.


The Campus- 1956


Culture has long been something that is valued at Middlebury College. Winter Carnival encapsulates the spirit and tradition that the college has encouraged since its establishment. Not only does Winter Carnival bring the student body and the community together, but it also combines social and sporting events into one festive weekend.


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