At the University of Rochester, there are four community weekends: Yellowjacket Weekend, Meliora Weekend, Winterfest Weekend, and Springfest Weekend. These weekends include some of the most treasured traditions at the University of Rochester. They are a great time for the community to come together to celebrate the season, enjoy some fun times, and remember that the University is much more than an academic institution.
This year Winterfest Weekend was held from January 30th to February 1st and it was another successful community weekend! These community weekends are sponsored by Wilson Commons Student Activities and because I hold a graduate assistantship position in this office, I worked during some of the highlighted events of the weekend.
I first attended the Winter Wonderland. I really enjoyed this event because Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons as well as the Wilson Commons porch transform into a beautiful winter landscape (and we even got some snow the night before so there was a fresh dusting). There were many activities at the Winter Wonderland including free s’mores, the Java’s Coffee truck, huskies, photo illusions, and an ice carving demonstration. The ice carving demonstration was extra exciting this year because they made a replica of the iconic Rush Rhees Library. Lastly, each year at the Winter Wonderland there is a free giveaway. This year’s gift was a free winter hat!
The next event that was a highlight for me was the Taste of Rochester dinner in Douglass Dining Center. This dinner featured make-your-own garbage plates: a true Rochester meal! They had all of the fixings plus some University of Rochester favorites like crispy onions and Mel sauce. I feel that this was the perfect meal to have on a community weekend at the University of Rochester because it was able to connect the University community with the city of Rochester community and traditions.
Lastly, the best part of this year’s Winterfest Weekend was attending the headline event: a Q&A with Bill Hader. Bill Hader is a comedian known for his eight seasons on Saturday Night Live as well as films such as Superbad and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. He is one of my favorite comedians and I was super excited to get the chance to see him speak. Through my position at Wilson Commons Student Activities, I was able to meet Bill prior to the show. I brought him a copy of that week’s edition of the school newspaper, the Campus Times, because there was a featured article about him. Even more exciting, after the show, we were able to get a picture with him.
These community weekends have always been a great experience for me and I am lucky that my job gave me the unique opportunity of meeting Bill Hader!
– Courtney Astemborski ’15 (MS)