Winter Carnival Continues its Icy Tradition
Every year, Lake Mendota becomes an icy platform for fishing, hockey and more, with droves of students embracing the fun that winter brings to Madison. One weekend in particular sparks an icy passion among Madisonians: the Hoofers annual Winter Carnival.
This year brought a trove of activities to the lake, starting off with a snowshoe hike from the Union to a bonfire part at Picnic Point. Participants skied and hiked across Mendota to the iconic landmark, where they were greeted with a cozy fire, hot chocolate and s’mores, and fellow winter enthusiasts.
On Friday, Hoofers partnered up with UW RecSports to host a broom-ball tournament on the lake. For those uninitiated, the sport is a mixture of field hockey and ice hockey, with teams using broom-like staffs to bat a game ball into the opposing team’s goal box. Participants set their fields up and proceeded to scramble across the ice for victory and bragging rights.
Saturday’s activities were slightly less competitive with the inclusion of Turkey Bowling, which is exactly what it sounds like: participants throw frozen turkeys to mow down ten pins in place of a traditional bowling ball. The night concluded at Observatory Hill, where Hoofers Ski & Snowboard Club installed a rail for skiers and snowboarders to perform a variety of tricks in front of a captive audience.
The next day was filled with just as many fun and games, but this time with a prize awaiting those who prevailed: the pond hockey championship took place on Sunday, where teams battled it out on the ice for victory and bragging rights until next year’s freeze.
Over the course of the weekend, the lake heated up with brats and competitive spirit, but what stood out the most were those who found the best things to enjoy during Madison’s coldest months.