Don’t let the winter blues keep you indoors

UW-Eau Claire business fraternity hopes to get people moving this weekend at first annual winter festival

Don’t let the winter blues keep you indoors

Photo by Submitted

Story by Katy Macek, Currents Editor

With all the cold weather it can be easy to want to stay inside, but the UW-Eau Claire chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon hopes to change that this weekend.

PSE, a marketing, sales and management business fraternity, is hosting its first annual Winter Festival this Saturday at Northwoods Brewpub in Eau Claire.

While the main event is their Boot Hockey Tournament, sophomore Danny Klagos, director of marketing, said there is something fun for everyone to enjoy.

“This event has the potential to be an ever-growing thing where it becomes what people have to look forward to in the month of February,” he said.

In addition to the tournament, there will be ice sculpting and live music, and Northwoods Brewpub will have specials on food and drinks throughout the day.

Klagos said PSE also set up a shuttle service that will transfer students to and from the festival. One of these will pick up in front of Towers Hall, and another will stop in the Water Street parking lot across from Haas Fine Arts Center.

Jared Sweeney, junior and vice president of marketing for PSE, said they hope to have anywhere from 16-20 teams register for the Boot Hockey Tournament, or even more if there is enough interest.

A team consists of 5-6 people. Registration is $60 per team, which includes a free T-shirt and lunch for all members.

All proceeds from the event will go toward PSE, which Sweeney said will help fund their trip down to Houston, Texas for the national sales conference in April.

“It’s a very expensive trip but it’s also very rewarding for the participants,” he said. “We’re just looking to raise as much money for that event in order to send as many members down there for as cheap as possible.”

While the tournament is the highlight of the day, Sweeney said the rest of the festival is open to the public, and there is no fee for the festival itself.

“Even if you want to just come out for a bit to eat or something and just soak in the fun of the day, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

Students can register for the event by emailing Sweeney at [email protected] prior to the day of the festival. If it’s a last-minute thing, students will be welcomed at the festival. Sweeney just asks they arrive a little bit early.

Klagos said the idea for the tournament and festival came about at one of their weekly marketing meetings. They had thought about doing a pond hockey tournament, but were concerned not enough students had skates. Boot hockey allows everyone to participate.

Because Northwoods Brewpub has a pond right below the restaurant, he said it seemed like a good fit.

Jerry Kollross, a managing and marketing professor at Eau Claire, took on the role of one of two faculty advisers for PSE three years ago, and said he is impressed with how far the relatively new-to-Eau Claire organization has come.

“I’ve seen growth in the number of participants, probably going from 15-16 active members to around 50 active members,” he said. “It’s not the largest organization on campus, but it certainly is one of the busiest ones.”

As far as the winter festival goes, Kollross said he hasn’t seen an idea like this from them yet, but he is always encouraging them to find new ways to advertise their organization.

“Trying to get a tradition going to do anything, and to get the sponsorship for it is big,” he said. “Like anything, we’ll see what kind of participation it gets from an advertising standpoint.”

Embrace the winter weather Wisconsinites know so well for a day of fun this Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Northwoods Brewpub.