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Students relieve finals stress at 10th annual Winter Wonderland

Students enjoyed hot chocolate, funnel cakes, sledding, snowball fighting and even had a field of snow solely for selfies at the 10th annual Winter Wonderland. | File photo/The Cougar

The Student Program Board held its 10th annual Winter Wonderland event Thursday afternoon at Lynn Eusan Park, one of several activities taking place around campus in the weeks before final exams.

The event featured several different activities, including a snow field, an obstacle course, free food and an exclusive 10th anniversary T-shirt. There were also sweepstakes held by United Airlines, free goodies from both Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola and a giveaway for advanced screening tickets to Aquaman.

“For Winter Wonderland, we do what we can,” said supply chain management senior Dara Hall. “Of course, students always look forward to the snow, but I think a lot of students enjoy the different activities in the snow department, like the snowball fighting.”

At last year’s event, the Student Program Board decided to introduce a separate patch of snow where students can relax, take pictures and build snowmen.

“Before (last year), we only had two sections, so either you sled or you snowball fight,” said marketing junior and Winter Wonderland event coordinator Ashley Herrera. “Some people didn’t want to do either and just wanted to chill.”

While the snow is a major part of Winter Wonderland, this year the Student Program Board planned another major event for the 10th anniversary.

“We got the Texans to come out,” Herrera said. “That’s something we haven’t done before for the Winter Wonderland event.”

For Winter Wonderland, the Student Program Board handed out stamp cards to everyone who checked in. Once students received six stamps on their card, they could redeem it for an exclusive T-shirt.

“It’s usually first-come, first-served if you have your card filled,” Herrera said. “It’s an incentive for students to visit all the booths and to actually participate in the event.”

Winter Wonderland was advertised through all sorts of mediums, including word of mouth, digital screens and posters, flyers and A-frames across campus, Herrera said.

“This is one of those traditional things that’s been going on for 10 years,” Herrera said. “People just expect it to happen, and they get excited for the event.”

Attendance at last year’s Winter Wonderland was around 1,800 people, but expectations for this year were much higher. “We had 600 people (swipe in) within the first hour of the event,” Hall said.

Accounting junior Ana Salas and accounting freshman Kevin Gallardo said they heard about Winter Wonderland because of the posters that the Student Program Board put up all around campus.

“I went to like four or five different booths,” Gallardo said. “Then I did the obstacle course and messed around in the snow, which was pretty fun.”

All the students were given stamp cards after swiping in, which Gallardo said he liked and thought was a nice incentive.

While she had not yet gotten a free shirt, Salas said she also liked the stamp card. “I think (the stamp card) is worth it,” Salas said. “It’s a great incentive.”

Both Salas and Gallardo said they enjoyed all the activities at Winter Wonderland overall, but Gallardo said he wanted a better indicator of where they were offering food.

“It was a nice event overall,” Gallardo said. “I think it was worth it.”

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