Winterfest celebrates new year with neon excitement
By Erin Honeycutt
Special to GCU News Bureau
Neon lights radiated across The Grove lawn on Thursday night as hundreds of Grand Canyon University students enjoyed the games, food and music at Winterfest, the annual welcome-back event of the spring semester.
Canyon Activities Board (CAB) members passed out glasses of sparkling cider to students playing neon-themed ladder ball, cornhole, Jenga, Skee-Ball and basketball. The disc jockey spun tracks, encouraging a large group to assemble in the middle of the field.
One of the hot spots of the night was the self-serve hot cocoa bar full of toppings, everything from peppermint crumbles to butterscotch chips. But most popular of all were the tableside s’mores.
“Winterfest is a unique event because it happens right after the new year,” said Kenzie Hayes, the CAB’s Director of Special Events. “Everyone is coming back from break, coming to school, so it’s like the first big event to kick off the second semester. People come to dance, they come to get s’mores, they come to get hot cocoa, so it’s a really cool event.”
CAB staff member Scott Kolmer said the event gave the team members an opportunity to create something from nothing as they found an engaging way to get students excited for the new semester. It worked. Winterfest was the perfect treat, mixing the winter activity of drinking hot cocoa while giving students a chance to kick back and relax with lawn games.
“I love going to CAB events because I get to meet new people, and I love being able to hang out with my friends and make new memories,” freshman Abi Beck said.
She was not the only student who has found joy through her experience with the various events CAB promotes at GCU.
“You have fun, there’s free food and I love to dance,” senior Jessica Nyhart said. “So that’s like the 7,000 reasons I come.”
Erin Honeycutt is a GCU senior majoring in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing.