The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Snowpalooza at Central Park around the corner

Posters taped around campus teasing at a “Snowpalooza” aren’t exactly forecasting another wintry blizzard. Rather, Grinnell should be expecting a flurry of festivities in the near future. Snowpalooza, an event co-sponsored by Grinnell College and the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, will offer an exciting array of events and goodies, ranging from hot chocolate and ice skating to a s’mores roast and a snowman building contest—all of which will take place in Central Park.

However, unlike typical community events, Snowpalooza does not have a set date. According to Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director, Emily Counts, this ambiguity was implemented as an innovative way to stir up buzz and excitement.

“This idea of a spontaneous event was inspired by my time at Wartburg [College], where we had a college holiday that no one knew about until the morning of,” Counts said.  “It created a lot of excitement and buzz, and we thought we might recreate that energy here with a winter event when we don’t know exactly [when it] will take place.”

Any official announcement will come by way of Twitter, Facebook and an online student newsletter, which are the fastest means of spreading the word.

“It’s going to be purely a social media kind of push,” Counts explained. “We’ll keep the [actual] day a secret until the day before.”

According to Counts, Snowpalooza was created this year as a way of bringing Grinnell students and the town closer in a playful and relaxed atmosphere, with an emphasis on building community and celebrating the beauty of winter. The nature of Snowpalooza differs from the visitor-friendly events the Chamber of Commerce usually hosts, as the heavy amounts of snow that are necessary for the event to take place will ideally create a wintry and cozy atmosphere reminiscent of small town get-togethers.

“It’s great to get you out of your bubble, but [we] will be pretty walled off from the outside,” Counts said.

Grinnell’s Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement co-sponsored the creation of Snowpalooza and offered important suggestions and contributions regarding what students hoped the event would offer.

“Our focus groups showed that students from non-cold states said that they didn’t even know what to do in the snow after Christmas, so we thought it might be a cool way to get students and residents out of their homes,” said Counts, who hopes consideration of these suggestions will amount to a greater turnout from students. “If you’re bored and sick of sitting inside, this is a great opportunity to get out into the community and do something. It’ll be a good way to connect the town and gown.”

The festivities will be centered around the new ice rink in Central Park, which is roughly a seven minute walk from campus. However, attendees who do not wish to ice skate will have a wide variety of activities available to them as well.

“Right now is the perfect time to experience the middle of Iowa, especially if you’ve never built a snowman or gone ice skating,” Counts said. “We’ve even talked about getting a broomball game together.”

Although the exact date of Snowpalooza remains a mystery, the event will definitely begin early in the afternoon to accommodate as many peoples’ schedules as possible.

”We’re trying to get students after class and people when they get off work,” Counts said. “It should start around one or two o’clock in the afternoon, but a few hours is certainly plenty in the winter.”

Those interested in staying up to date on when Snowpalooza will take place should email Counts at to subscribe to the Chamber of Commerce’s email newsletter, or follow Grinnell Chamber of Commerce on Facebook or Twitter.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *