Santa has come and gone, but Winterfest 2011 may help delay the looming stress of returning back to school. The almost week long event will feature club and pub nights, barbeques, sports events and more, during the first week of classes.

Events run from Tuesday to Saturday, with two events a day. On Tuesday, there will be sports (flag football, ultimate frisbee) set up for everyone to play on Front Campus at UC with a free accompanying barbecue. Tuesday night will feature the annual Winterfest pub crawl that will visit the Bedford Academy, the Duke of York, the Fox and Fiddle, The Madison, the James Joyce, the Brunny, and Pauper’s Pub.

“[The pub crawl will] cater to all partiers even if they aren’t necessarily clubbing types,” said Paul Humphrey, Social Commissioner of University College Literary and Athletic Society. “It also gives people a chance to check out some bars they may not have been to yet.”
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Wednesday will feature both an open mic night at Brennan Hall at St. Mike’s and a live viewing of the Raptor’s game project in Kruger Hall. Thursday night will feature a club night at XS Nightclub at John and Richmond.

Humphrey, former president of Party for a Cause, describes last year’s club night as “amazing” and hopes this years inclusion of musical act Planet Otnorot and DJs Intrinity, Couture, and Dynasty will make this year’s even better.

Friday will feature a self-explanatory pancake kegger. The week will wrap up on Saturday with a giant game of capture the flag in Queen’s Park at noon and a semi-formal in Old Vic’s Alumni Hall that night.

“It’s a beautiful space, and we’ll be sure have it extra decked out for the occasion,” said Humphrey. “We’ll also be providing some great food and bar service all for $15.”

U of T welcome back events first began in the 90s but disappeared in the early 2000s. Winterfest began in 2006 and has grown into a week organized between colleges.

“It’s a unique opportunity for college and division councils who often work on separate or even competing events, to work together and do something for all our students,” said Humphrey.

Humphrey added that this event shouldn’t be confused as a “second frosh week,” as the appeal is intended to be much larger. “Frosh week is catered towards new students, most of whom are still underage,” explained Humphrey. “Winterfest on the other hand caters to a wider community including upper years.”

“Winterfest is all about everyone coming together at the start of a new term to reconnect with their friends and their campus life,” explained Humphrey. “And most importantly remind them that despite the cold and class, U of T DOES party!”