Winterfest set to get campus feeling the Christmas spirit

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Wednesday to Friday of Week Nine will see Alexandra Square play host to Winterfest, the university’s brand new winter event, which will take place for the first time this term.

The event, funded jointly by The Friends Programme and UPP, will see all areas of Lancaster University join together to celebrate the start of the festive season, and begin to wind down for the Christmas holidays.

Andy Johnston, VP (FEDS), said, “the opportunity to utilise seasonal sentiment and put on a completely new type of event is a really exciting idea.”

Though some events of the week are still unconfirmed, it is known that a 20ft Christmas tree will be gracing Alexandra Square and festive scenery including light garlands and a snow machine provided by the Engineering Society will be in place to turn Alexandra Square into a festive market place.

Wednesday Week Nine will see the event begin, with stalls selling festive treats  – such as mulled wine, Christmas cakes and biscuits – being set up, for the remainder of the week, in the Square.

Stalls selling cards and gifts, such as jewellery, Christmas decorations and ceramics, will also be present during the week. Friday will see a hog roast and roasted chestnuts stalls be added, to coincide with the climax of the week’s events.

The main feature of the events will be an ice rink in Alexandra Square for all three days, with people being able to skate from 12pm until 6pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and until 8pm on Friday.

There is set to be a live broadcast from Alexandra Square by Bailrigg FM on the Thursday, along with performances by the University Big Band and the Chaplaincy Centre Choir.

The Debating Society is also lined up to discuss the existence of Santa, and the Theatre Group are reported to be performing a pantomime as part of the entertainment being put on for the event.

On Friday, the Winterfest Extravaganza Show will see the Gospel Choir, Dance Society, Cheerleaders, Hip Hop and Breakdancing Society, Writers’ Guild and Juggling Society all providing entertainment from 4pm, alongside various other acts.

Max Stannard, Big Band Rep & Brass Band Assistant Conductor said the band was looking forward to Winterfest, because “it will give us a chance to play for people who would not normally hear our society’s ensembles.”
The event is reported to have the support of Santa and his elves, who are rumoured to be making an appearance during the Winterfest events.

Johnston mentioned how he hoped that this would become an annual event; placing it in Week Nine, he said, would “allow people to talk about it in Week Ten and hopefully build up more excitement for a similar event next year.”
The event, which has been planned for months, is being put on primarily thanks to the hard work and organisational efforts of the LUSU Activities Office and student helpers, who have been supported by the Activities Developer.

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