December 12, 2011
The weather outside was frightful, but that didn’t stop the St.
John’s University community from celebrating the start of the
Christmas season at the Alumni Winter Carnival.
Merry Christmas from St. John’s University!
Featuring photos with Santa, a spectacular fireworks show and
the lighting of the campus Christmas Tree, this year’s event helped
usher in the holidays despite the unseasonably warm and rainy
“We were hoping for snow,” said Nicholas Di Fiore ’99SVC. “It’s
unfortunate that all we’ve been having is rain but, regardless,
this event has still been a blast.”
Fiore, like many of the guests, brought his children to the
carnival to take their photos with Santa.
“I love the whole idea behind the Winter Carnival,” he
explained. “Back when we were students, my wife and I had an
incredible time here at St. John’s. So to have an opportunity like
this, to share that experience with our kids, is something I find
Also part of the festivities was the Vigil Mass for the Feast of
The Immaculate Conception, held at St. Thomas More Church.
Natalie Caesar ’07GEd, who came to the event with her parents
and her six-month old daughter, enjoyed how the mass stressed the
true meaning of Christmas.
“It always goes back to the Vincentian mission,” she said. “The
Alumni Winter Carnival is great because it makes kids feel happy,
but it’s also a fantastic way for the rest of the community to
remember what’s truly important about the season. We need to be
thankful for all that we have and be mindful of those in need -
that’s what it’s all about.”
in years past, the Alumni Winter Carnival featured free admission,
as long as guests brought an unwrapped toy to donate to the
For William Ferguson ’95TCB, ’07MBA, this unique entry fee was a
great way to reinforce a valuable lesson to his daughter.
“The spirit of the Winter Carnival is to help those in
need,” he noted. “Donating a toy to Sponsor-A-Family helps to teach
the children who are here - like my daughter, my niece and my
nephew - all about that spirit. I find it impressive that St.
John’s can stress the importance of charity while at the same time
provide this fun, family experience.”
The thrilling fireworks show on the Great Lawn served as an
exciting conclusion to the festivities, as students, alumni,
faculty and administrators watched the breathtaking
“The fireworks show is always incredible,” said Chris Imparato
’09C, ’11G. “It’s one of my favorite events on campus. Year after
year, it always gets me ready for the Christmas season.”