Winter Carnival Returns to Winter Park for 2024
Snow is in the forecast for Winter Carnival 2024.
Now in its 63rd year, Winter Carnival—one of the University’s longest standing traditions—returns to Winter Park, where it was first held in 1961. Throughout the decades, DU students have demonstrated dedication to the weekend mountain getaway, only altering the plans three times since its inception: it was canceled in 1981, due to a lack of snow; in 2020, due to an abundance of snow and poor road conditions; and in 2021, when pandemic restrictions kept the off-campus festivities on hold.
This year’s Winter Carnival follows the traditional blueprint: On-campus activities kicking off on Feb. 5 and students taking to the mountains Feb. 9–11 for three days of skiing and alpine revelry.
Winter Carnival’s signature feature is a wide variety of outdoor offerings—at an affordable price. Discounted tubing passes and lift tickets are available for students, alumni, faculty and staff. Students can also access discounts on three-night bookings at the Vintage Hotel, located at the base of the resort. A discount code (DUWinterCarnival2024) for the Winter Park Resort website is available for savings on snow bike and snowcat tours, snowshoeing, astronomy tours, ice-skating, snowmobiling, gondola rides and equipment rentals. More than 1,000 students have registered, promising a strong DU presence on the mountain over the weekend.
As DU Programming Board (DUPB) organized this year’s Winter Carnival, they sought to make the on-mountain activities more accessible, chartering ADA accessible buses. Winter Park is also accessible by Bustang and Amtrak, and students are also encouraged to carpool.
And to combat the increasingly high price of a weekend in the mountains, DUPB worked with the DU Student Foundation to secure additional funding to provide scholarships to cover the costs of students’ bus, lift and tubing tickets to ensure every student can afford the weekend getaway. Applications for scholarships will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 5. Information on scholarships can be found on the DUPB Instagram.
Beyond the budget-friendly nature of Winter Carnival, the weekend away offers a unique break from the fast pace of the quarter system, says DUPB President Noah Lederer. “I love the idea of having that ability to go up to the mountain at a discounted price and to have it as a big weekend off. It’s in the middle of the quarter, and it's a time where students can go up and just relax and be with other students and have a good time,” Lederer says. “I think that's a big thing that students don't get enough of—an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary that isn't just their normal kind of weekend.”
The countless events and activities throughout the weekend also provide opportunities to connect and explore, Lederer says. “This is a really great opportunity to meet new people and to grow your relationships with the people you're already friends with. It's a great time, if even if you don't like to ski, there's tubing, there's the village—there's so many things to do there. So we think that this is an amazing opportunity for all students.”
The weeklong festival kicks off Monday with a dinner packed with winter comfort foods. On Tuesday, various local thrift vendors will set up shop in the DCB Marcus Commons before a Project Runway-style fashion show. Test your wit or see your future in the Community Commons on Wednesday with escape rooms and tarot card readings. And get ready for the mountains Thursday with ski waxing and laser tag before Women’s Basketball takes on South Dakota.
If you’re heading to the mountains Friday, grab a Santiago’s burrito before hopping on the bus up to Winter Park. And if you stay on campus, Saturday’s Sip N’ Paint event promises a variety delicious teas and guided painting. If you’re looking to meet up with friends or need a spot to take a break, DUPB’s home base will be in the Balcony House lodge from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. See the full schedule on CrimsonConnect.