March 11, 2002

Cornell Hosts Cabin Fever Festival as Family Fun Day

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Thousands of children and parents filled Barton Hall on Saturday to participate in the tenth annual Cabin Fever Festival– a fundraising event for childcare agencies in the Ithaca area.

The Festival allows parents and children to share a day of family oriented fun together, said event coordinator Janine Harrison.

“We have a carnival, amusement activities, arts and crafts, and we also serve lunch,” added


All proceeds from the event go to local childcare service agencies such as the Ithaca Community Childcare Center– a not-for-profit corporation established in 1975.

According to the Center’s Website its mission is to “provide excellent child care for families of diverse backgrounds and to advocate for children, families, and the child care profession.” The funds obtained from this event help the Center and others like it accomplish these goals.

“The money goes to a coalition of 5 childcare programs. The agencies decided to come together and raise funds like the United Way. That way, instead of having 30 bake sales, they just have this one big event that brings in more proceeds,” said Harrison.

Last year, each childcare center got about $5000.

“The money is used to purchase things like playground and office equipment for the centers,” said Harrison.

As many as 600 volunteers from the Ithaca and Cornell community were involved in putting the festival together. University organizations like the Cornell Tradition, sports, sororities, and fraternities volunteered time toward the cause, said Harrison.

“It’s a really nice way to help out and work with kids,” said Krisha Cerilli ’02 of the Golden Key senior honor society. Cerilli, assisting in the spin art booth, has participated in the festival since her freshman year.

“We are indebted to community relations,” said Harrison referring to various elements of the Cornell and Ithaca communities. “This assistance includes things like the use of Barton and traffic management,” added Harrison.

Additionally, the event had local corporate sponsors such as The Ithaca Journal, Tompkins Trust Company, and Wegmans.

“It’s a lot of fun. We have three children we bring every year,” said Joyce Wigstem.

When asked what was his favorite part of the festival, George Wigstem, 9, said it was the games. Hayley Wigstem, 5, agreed. This is the Wigstems’ fifth year in attendance.

Face painting, carnival style games, and a moonwalk– an inflatable room for jumping and bouncing– were

among the main attractions. Performers, such as dancers and magicians, also captivated audiences. The event, complemented this year by warm temperatures, usually draws about 5000 people.

Archived article by Philip Lane