Winter Carnival 2014

Hello again, parents. I hope you all had a great weekend and great start to the week. As you may have heard, the weather up here has been quite

A photo of a snow statue from Winter Carnival 2011. Photo Courtesy of Digital Creations
A photo of a snow statue from Winter Carnival 2011. Photo Courtesy of Digital Creations

unpredictable with wind chills plummeting to almost -40 degrees on Monday and Tuesday! Students have bundled up and braved the weather in one of the coldest snaps the UP has seen in quite some time. But that’s what we love about Michigan Tech!

In addition to this frosty weather, Winter Carnival also makes its chilly start next Tuesday, January 28, and runs through Saturday, February 8. Sponsored by the Blue Key National Honor Society, Winter Carnival has been a celebrated tradition at Michigan Tech since 1922, when a it was presented by a student organization as a one-night program called the “Ice Carnival.” The Ice Carnival was a circus-themed celebration that included bands, performance acts, and skating contests, and eventually became an annual tradition. The Winter Carnival Queens competition and Torchlight parade that we celebrate today were established in 1928. Blue Key took over Carnival in 1934, when it was extended to a two-night ordeal. The snow statues like we see today came into play in 1936, when local children and other community members joined the students to build the biggest and the best. During the early 1940s, Carnival activities came to a halt as World War II was in full swing. The festivities resumed in 1946, with the addition of the famous and beloved skits/Stage Revue. From then to now, a plethora of activities have been added to the Winter Carnival celebration. Today, students can participate in teams within their residence hall, student organization, or Greek organization in a wide variety of wacky activities. The following are some of the main events scheduled for Winter Carnival 2014.

Ice Bowling
One team member is “bowled” down the iceway in an attempt to knock down as many life-size pins as possible.

Teams gather at the Calumet Armory and maneuver granite stones along the ice in order to hit the target with the most accuracy.

Ice Fishing
Individuals and teams head out to Chassell Bay and compete in wrangling the most colossal walleye.

Snow Volleyball
Teams brave snow and ice while competing in outdoor volleyball matches.

Yooper Sprint
This bizarre sprint requires competitors to wear a cross country ski on one foot and a snowshoe on the other as they race toward the finish.

Queens Coronation
Queen finalists are chosen after an extensive interview process and perform a talent during the coronation ceremony. The Queen is then selected by a vote from students and community members who are present for the performance.

The All-Nighter is the the last night to complete all Winter Carnival statues. The campus hosts students and community members alike as teams put the finishing touches on their month-long statues or start and complete their overnight masterpieces. To add to the celebration, music, food, and broomball are a part of the night’s festivities.

Beards Competition
Clean-shaven contestants sign up in early December as either beard, goatee, or sideburn competitors. After months of preparation, they present their artistic facial hair and attempt to woo the judges with costumes, songs, and skits.

Human Dog Sled Rides
Each team has six runners that must pull four riders and a musher to the finish line!

Stage Revue
Teams present skits doused with edgy humor and represent the Winter Carnival theme to try to win over the judges and audience with hilarity.

Bob Saget—Student Entertainment Board Comedian
Bob Saget, best known for his role as Danny Tanner on “Full House,” will bring his comic stylings to Tech’s campus in honor of the Winter Carnival festivities.

Bigfoot Snowshoe Event
The annual Bigfoot Snowshoe event is celebrating its 17th year of participation and offers courses of approximately 2k, 4k, and 6k on the Tech Trails for students and community members to participate in.

Fireworks and Torchlight Parade
Torch-bearing skiers make their way down Mont Ripley to celebrate the end of Winter Carnival, followed by a spectacular winter fireworks show.

Winter Carnival sure has changed a lot over the years, but what hasn’t changed is the Husky Pride it inspires. We’re so lucky to attend such a charming campus! I hope your students enjoy this beloved tradition and have fun participating in these goofy events. For more information about Winter Carnival and its activities, please visit the Winter Carnival website.

That’s it for this week! If you have any questions regarding Winter Carnival or would like to see more information on a specific topic, please email me at


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