Keeping the spirit of FebFest alive yearround

By Keith MacArtney '13

FebFest, a weeklong series of on-campus events primarily sponsored by the Social Traditions Committee of Student Assembly and the Campus Activities Board (CAB), is a great example of how student life at Hamilton should be throughout the year.  While the idea of FebFest is to bring some light-hearted fun to the cold, sometimes less interesting month of February, these events would serve a far greater purpose if they were spread throughout the month or even semester.

The 2013 FebFest schedule is particularly exciting.  Some of the larger events include the Mr. Hamilton pageant, the acoustic coffeehouse featuring Josh Ritter, Jeff Mangum’s Valentines Day IMF concert, the Hamilton College Figure Skating Club’s performance of Disney on Ice, the Snow Ball late night on Friday night and the Emerson Literary Society’s beloved Rocky Horror Picture Show party on Saturday night. 

Some of the more intimate events this year include the various beer, chocolate and cheese tastings, the Grammy viewing party, the Chili Cook-off and late night breakfast in Commons.  One of the more special events of each FebFest is the Friday night fireworks display on Royce Field for those willing to venture out in the cold to see them.  This year, the bookstore has even offered daily deals on various Hamilton swag to honor the FebFest tradition.

Especially in the blistering cold of February in central New York, we can all agree that these types of events provide our community with reason to emerge from dormitory hibernation other than our usual routine of classes, meetings and practices.  However, up here in central New York, the winter hibernation period lasts far longer than just one week in February.  With that in mind, our various campus life groups should work to host these types of special events throughout the winter and perhaps even throughout the year.  These events bring our community together, bridging the apparent divide between members of our cliquey, lightside-darkside culture.  They provide a fun way for friends to meet up around campus and enjoy each other’s presence.

Liz Amster ’13 commented, “This has been the best FebFest yet, so props to them, but I wish it was the whole month of February.  If you’re really busy this one week, you miss out on a lot.  I couldn’t see Josh Ritter or go to the beer tasting because I had a presentation.  If it was stretched out over the course of a month, maybe more people would have the opportunity to go to more events.”

Throughout the year, various organizations host events on the Hill much like those of FebFest.  And while I salute the efforts of these groups, there should be more!  At a small college like Hamilton, we need to be proactive in making sure that everyone feels a part of the community, and the best way to ensure that is through events like FebFest that keep our spirits up.  Many Hamilton traditions have changed or gone out of style over the years, providing openings for us to establish new events that epitomize Hamilton life.  To consolidate so many of our greatest traditions into one packed week seems silly.  Every week should be FebFest at Hamilton.


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