Words by Ruby Muller. Images by Isabella Reharta. 

Maybe I’m just easy to please. But if you put food trucks, sick beats and a Pokemon Go gym all in one place—I’ll be there.

Events held on a university campus always come with the anticipation that they could be terribly boring. Perhaps this was why there seemed to be a lack of a student presence at Monash University’s final Winterfest event, Let It Glow. But the student body’s disengagement with the winter-themed festivities was mostly unfounded. After all—it’s a free party! Yes, there were a lot of activities aimed at young kids instead of the twenty-somethings who make up the majority. Yes, many of the food options were cash only and there were no ATMs. Yes, you couldn’t go anywhere without having fake snow blown into your souvlaki by bitter winds.

But as the night chugged on and the crowd multiplied, the mood began to lift. Monash Law and Commerce student Eugene Cyy—AKA DJ Mona Gene—kept the vibes light and breezy with some fantastic cuts of new bangers and dance floor classics. The food trucks kept everyone warm from the inside out, with everything from curry to greek street food. Though it was a tad cold to go up in the ferris wheel, the lights of the free rides cast a festive hue over party-goers, fostering a warm atmosphere among them. And what winter party is complete without a hot dessert to warm the soul? An adorable stall was set up where attendees could donate a gold-coin in exchange for a marshmallow and a flame to roast it over. And for those unwilling to work for their confectionaries, the Melbourne Sunday Arts Market’s famous poffertjes (dutch pancakes!) were also helping to refuel the night’s fun-runners.

The run was a little underwhelming, but what sort of turnout can you expect in the dead of winter? It was far from the undulating sea of glowing bodies expected. From the top of the ferris wheel it more closely resembled a sparse constellation of blue and green fireflies. There was also heaps for families to get involved in. Multiple winter-themed movie screenings and colouring in activities kept the kids busy indoors, while a weird inflatable bear-type thing had children squealing outside (points for whoever can tell me what all of that was about). But the beauty of the night was indisputable. The event’s most magical moment was undeniably the tremendous fireworks display. It was a sight that would make Melbourne’s New Years skyline jealous. The snaps, crackles and pops were joined by collective gasps from the show’s audience, as well as the usual glare of filming phones.

So even though the night began with winds that promised imminent rain and threatened the event’s success, good food and great music ultimately prevailed. Monash’s conclusion to their Winterfest season was filled with plenty of laughter and smiles, reminding us of the importance of facing the elements in order to break the winter monotony. And of course, to catch ‘em all.