RIT’s FreezeFest celebrates the snow and cold

Concert by RIT President Bill Destler and performance by comic T.J. Miller part of three-day celebration of winter




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An obstacle course challenge, an ice sculpture demonstration, a concert by the college president and drag queen bingo are all part of the eighth annual Rochester Institute of Technology FreezeFest, for students, faculty, staff to celebrate Rochester’s winter season.

The festival, which runs Thursday, Feb. 16, through Sunday, Feb. 19, and is sponsored by RIT’s Center for Campus Life and the College Activities Board, is one of the largest events on campus and the largest in the winter season.

“It’s a great way to bring the campus together to experience and celebrate the winter season and have some fun,” said David Swerzenski, a fifth-year mechanical and electrical engineering major from Oak Ridge, N.J., and the events coordinator for the RIT College Activities Board.

Swerzenski said there will be giveaways including hats, gloves, T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts during some of the events.

“Since its inception in 2010, FreezeFest has brought students, friends, families and the RIT community together for an assortment of winter-themed programs and events,” said Bill St. Jean, associate director for campus programs.

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday in Ingle Auditorium with “Songs for the Journey,” a rare performance—and one petitioned by students—by RIT President Bill Destler playing banjo and guitar, singing folk songs and original music, with a guest appearance by his spouse, Rebecca Johnson. There will be opportunities for the audience to sing along.

“All human societies throughout history have used music and dance as a way of celebrating and coping with the ups and downs of life,” Destler said. “This concert, in response to a PawPrints petition, will reflect that practice and purpose.”

On Saturday night, this year’s featured FreezeFest comedian, T.J. Miller, an actor featured in the HBO series Silicon Valley, will perform in the Gordon Field House. Miller has appeared or provided voices in numerous films, television shows and video games including Chelsea Lately, Yogi Bear 3-D, Get Him to the Greek, How to Train Your Dragon 2, She’s Out of My League, Rock of Ages, Gravity Falls and Office Christmas Party.

Tickets for Miller are $15 for students, $20 for RIT faculty/staff and $30 for the public and are available at the RIT box office.

Unless otherwise indicated, all FreezeFest events are free. They include:

Thursday:

  • 7 p.m. “Songs for the Journey,” concert by RIT President Bill Destler and guest Rebecca Johnson, Ingle Auditorium, Student Alumni Union.
  • 9:30 p.m. Film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ingle Auditorium, SAU.

Friday:

  • All day: Ice carving demonstration outside the SAU.
  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Free popcorn and cotton candy; face painting; take pictures in front a giant snow globe, SAU lobby.
  • 1 p.m.: Freeze Tag, laser tag in 1829 Room, SAU.
  • 2:05 p.m.: Women’s hockey, RIT vs. Syracuse University, Gene Polisseni Center. Tickets available at RIT box office.
  • 6 p.m. Women’s basketball, RIT vs. Union College, Clark Gymnasium.
  • 7:05 p.m. Men’s hockey, RIT vs. Air Force Academy, Gene Polisseni Center. Tickets available at RIT box office.
  • 8 p.m. Men’s basketball, RIT vs. Union College, Clark Gymnasium.
  • 10 p.m. Grocery Bingo, Davis Room, SAU. Sponsored by the Center for Residence Life.

Saturday:

  • 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Winter Warrior, 12-part winter obstacle course to test strength, conditioning and teamwork, Grace Watson Field. Registration required in advance or on the day of the event; $10 for a team of two, with proceeds to the Veterans Outreach Center of Rochester. Visit Facebook for more details. Sponsored by Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Chi.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Holiday Fest, including roller hockey, field hockey, men’s club and women’s club hockey. Competitive, multi-sport, hockey-themed event, sponsored by RIT’s hockey clubs, field hockey, roller hockey, men’s and women’s hockey, Grace Watson Field. $10 per person.
  • Noon-3 p.m.: FreezeFest Ski Lodge, free food, games, prizes, Fireside Lounge, SAU. Sponsored by the Center for Campus Life.
  • Noon-3 p.m.: Free popcorn and cotton candy; face painting; take pictures in front a giant snow globe; Build a Buddy, stuff various animals. SAU lobby.
  • 3 p.m.: Women’s hockey, RIT vs. Syracuse University, Gene Polisseni Center. Tickets available at RIT box office.
  • 4-6 p.m. Frozen Food Trucks, Rosica Hall Circle. Free sample servings while supplies last from Macarollin, Dukes Donuts, Tuscan Tony’s Pizza and Roc City Sammich.
  • 4-6 p.m.: Bubble ball, get inside an inflated sphere and run around with others. Greek Lawn.
  • 5 p.m. Tango Lessons & Dance, Gosnell Atrium. Sponsored by RIT Tango Club.
  • 7 p.m.-midnight: 4reeze Square, a Four Square tournament; teams of two combining the rules of Four Square with volleyball, top three teams receiving prizes. Free for spectators, $8 per player, with proceeds donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project; sponsored by the House of General Science.
  • 7:05 p.m. Men’s hockey, RIT vs. Air Force Academy, Gene Polisseni Center. Tickets available at RIT box office.
  • 9 p.m. Comedian T.J. Miller, comedian, singer, musician and actor, currently starring in the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at the Gordon Field House. Tickets are $15 for students, $20 for RIT faculty/staff and $30 for the public and available at the RIT box office.

Sunday:

  • 10 a.m. FreezeFest 5K Run/Walk on the RIT campus, registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of Grace Watson Hall. The first 250 finishers will receive a free long-sleeve FreezeFest 5K shirt. Registration: $10 for students, $15 for others. Sponsored by the Center for Residence Life.
  • 7:30-9 p.m. Sexy Bingo, with drag queens, free, Room 1300, Student Development Center. Sponsored by Sex in the Brick City Wellness Team.
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T.J. Miller