Phineas is the creator of the first Devon Winter Carnival, of course. Finny is the one who always organizes anything fun. Phineas is social, athletic, and always looking for a good time. His current state of mind in chapter 9 when he thinks up the idea is a bit depressing, though. His leg is broken, he's stuck in his dorm room most of the time, and he can't be outside too much because of the snow and cold. Like the positive thinker that he is, Phineas is in complete denial that winter is bad, so he decides to brighten it up with a carnival. (Sadly, he is also claiming that World War II isn't going on.) This little side effect from his accident doesn't hold others back from participating in Finny's scheme, though. It turns out to be a great success! Gene has an excellent time participating in the carnival and marvels:
"--for on this day even the schoolboy egotism of Devon was conjured away--a wreath made from the evergreen trees which Phineas placed on my head. It wasn't the cider which made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn from the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, special and separate peace" (136-37).