Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, visitors of all ages are invited to attend the Winter Carnival Cultural Gala at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts, located on South Main Street (Route 30). Activities will include performances by Middlebury College student a cappella singing groups, as well as childrens activities organized by several student organizations. Light refreshments will be served, and the Middlebury College Museum of Art will be open to the public until 7 p.m. Following the Cultural Gala, visitors can proceed next door to Kenyon Arena for the Winter Carnival ice show, Around the World in 80 Minutes, at 7:30 p.m. The show features the Middlebury Figure Skating Club, whose members include Middlebury College students, faculty and staff, as well as children and adults from the local community. Ross Miner will appear as a guest skater. Miner, the 2006 United States National Intermediate Mens Champion, is a 16-year-old skater from Williston who lives in the Boston area and trains with the Skating Club of Boston. The show, which is also hosted by the Champlain Valley Skating Club and sanctioned by US Figure Skating, will be performed again at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23. On Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, some of the finest collegiate skiers will compete in Nordic and alpine races that are regional qualifying events for the NCAA. Competitions take place at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock and the Rikert Ski Touring Center in Ripton. Visiting teams include Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Dartmouth, Harvard, St. Lawrence, St. Michaels, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont and Williams. Pending qualification, individuals from the following schools may also compete: Boston College, Plymouth, Northern Michigan University, Smith, St. Anselm, Clarkson, M.I.T. and the University of Massachusetts.