Blue Key National Honor Society
Blue Key has been sponsoring Winter Carnival at Michigan Technological University since 1934. Blue Key’s responsibilities include planning and managing all Winter Carnival activities – a year-round task. This major project gives the 42 member Michigan Tech chapter the distinction of being the most active Blue Key chapter in the country.
We hope that this Information Guide will enhance the Winter Carnival experience for all visitors to the Keweenaw. Included are summaries of the various Winter Carnival events and information on the history of the tradition.
Winter Carnival is very important to the businesses in the Keweenaw area. The following facts were obtained from an economic impact study conducted in 2001:
- Almost 3,500 people came to the area and stayed overnight specifically for Winter Carnival.
- Almost 2,300 people made a day trip to the area for Carnival.
- The total amount of money that was spent in the area by tourists was approximately $825,000.
- The economic impact on the area was estimated to be $1,237,000.
- Local businesses experienced an average 18% increase in sales during Winter Carnival week.
Blue Key receives some of its funding from Michigan Tech’s Undergraduate Student Government through the Student Activity Fee. The expenses of Winter Carnival outweigh Blue Key’s funding, so the group solicits donations from area businesses, organizations, and individuals to meet its financial needs. This directory is provided to inform the public of those businesses and individuals who are actively promoting the economic growth of the Keweenaw through their contribution to Winter Carnival. It is Blue Key’s hope that the public will patronize the businesses that have so generously supported Blue Key and Winter Carnival.
In addition to those businesses listed, we would like to thank the countless number of individuals who have contributed to Winter Carnival in other ways. The radio, television, print, and word-of-mouth advertising we receive are essential to the success of Carnival. We would also like to thank local hotels, motels, and businesses who assisted in the distribution of this Information Guide.
If you have any questions or comments about Winter Carnival, please contact Blue Key at:
Blue Key Honor Society Phone: 906-487-2818
106 Memorial Union Building
Michigan Technological University E-Mail: email@example.com
Houghton, MI 49931 www.mtu.edu/carnival/
We hope that you enjoy your visit to the Keweenaw and have a safe and memorable Winter Carnival.
Blue Key Committees 2020-2021
- Scott Sviland (President)
- Maxwell Pleyte (Vice President)
- Claire Semenchuk (Secretary)
- Brette Eychner (Treasurer)
- Cacie Clifford (Alumni and Member Outreach)
- Laura Bulleit (Advisor)
- Heather Sander (Advisor)
- Kathryn Miller (Co-Chair)
- Gabriela Sgambati (Co-Chair)
- Drew Vincent
- Lauren Bowling
- Caleb Rogers
- Tyler Birnie
- Ava Farquar
- Nicholas Green
- Rachel May
- Sean Parker
- Kayley Elmbald (Chair)
- Timothy Laynes (Chair)
- Ian Lawrie (Co-Chair)
- Erican Santiago (Co-Chair)
- Andrew Ackerman
- Brendan Mousseau
- Brianna Charlot
- Christian Johnson
- Nicholas Redman
- Katherine Smith
- Breanna Appleton (Co-Chair)
- Lea Morath (Co-Chair)
- Jacob Allen
- Austin Bucknell
- Martin Mueller
- Christopher Kluka
Special Thanks to Our 2021 Winter Carnival Sponsors
- Office of the President
- Dean of Students & VP for Student Affairs
- Flagstar Bank
- Center for Diversity and Inclusion
- College of Science and Arts
- Edward Jones
- McDonald’s of Houghton
- Ojibwa Casino
- Materials Science & Engineering
- College of Business
- Director of International Programs and Services
- Great Lakes Accounting, P. C.
- Massie Mfg., Inc.
- Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
- Provost & Senior VP for Academic Affairs
- Quincy Dining Co.
- Social Sciences
- Athletic Director
- Geological/Mining Engineering & Sciences
- Aire Care LLC
- Centry 21 – North Country Agency
- Chemical Engineering Department
- Copper Country Ford
- Pepsi Cola Botting of Houghton
- Ramada Inn Waterfront Hancock
- Midway Rentals and Services *
- CopperDog 150 *
- Dan and Peg Kauppi
- Peninsula Copper Industries Inc
- Todd and Kerrie Haugh
- Celebrations | Diane & Charles Eshback
- Dollar Bay Linoleum & Tile Company
- Drapple-Gray Bed & Breakfast LLC
- The Print Shop Houghton*
*donations in the form of products and services
Past Winter Carnival Themes
- 2020- Discover What Shines from Prehistoric Times
- 2019- Years of Innovation STEM from this Snowy Situation
- 2018- Myths and Tales of the Past in Our Frigid Forecast
- 2017- Snow Cascades Across the Decades
- 2016- As Snow Accumulates at Alarming Rates, We Show Our Love for the Fifty States
- 2015- While Frozen In the Ice And Snow, We Dream of Vacations On Which To Go
- 2014- Nostalgic Films of Childhood Days Come To Life In Frosty Ways
- 2013- Heroes and Villians Find Their Powers, In These Frozen Winter Hours
- 2012- From Across the State, What Makes Michigan Great
- 2011- Thousands of Pages Unfold in the Bitter Cold
- 2010- Games We Know Captured in Snow
- 2009- A Fridgid Place Gets a Blast From Space
- 2008- Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features
- 2007- Ancient Worlds Come to Play in Snowy Drifts of Modern Day
- 2006- Cartoon Art for the Young at Heart
- 2005- A Frozen Commotion from the Depths of the Ocean
- 2004- What We Love Most From Coast to Coast
- 2003- Fairy Tales in Northern Gales
- 2002- Snowy Re-Creations of Worldly Destinations
- 2001- Greek Myths Unfold in a Wondrous Land of Cold
- 2000- Icy Predictions of Future Conditions
- 1999- Cheers and Tears of the Last 100 Years
- 1998- Icy Glory of a Legendary Story
- 1997- Nature’s Delights Under Northern Lights
- 1996- Proud Traditions in Icy Conditions
- 1995- Great Feats of Mankind Frozen in Time
- 1994- Tales of Fright on a Cold Winter’s Night
- 1993- Heroes So Bold in a World So Cold
- 1992- A Winter Snowfall Brings World Cultures to All
- 1991- Books Come to Life in a World of Snow and Ice
- 1990- Hollywood Comes to Sno-Ton
- 1989- American Dreams in a Frozen Scene
- 1988- Frosty Traces of Faraway Places
- 1987- Mysteries Hidden in Ice
- 1986- Snowy Casts of a Century Past
- 1985- Classics Brought to Ice
- 1984- Legends and Myths in Snowy Drifts
- 1983- Icy Trips Through Comic Strips
- 1982- Melodies in the Key of Ice
- 1981- Nursery Rhymes in Chilly Times
- 1980- Snowy Blunders of Worldly Wonders
- 1979- Snowy Scenes from the Silver Screen
- 1978- Chiller Thrillers
- 1977- The White World of Sports
- 1976- Icy Blasts from our Frozen Past
- 1975- The Frozen World of Frostbound Funnies
- 1974- Sub-Zero Heroes
- 1973- Frigid Fairy Tales
- 1972- Snobody’s Perfect
- 1971- The Age of Shiv-v-valry
- 1970- The Greatest Show on Earth
- 1969- Ice-Terical History
- 1968- Disney’s Wonderful World in Ice
- 1967- Mid-Winter Mockery
- 1966- Sights in Ice
- 1965- Our American Heritage
- 1964- Land of the Sandman
- 1963- Bygone Buffoonery
- 1962- It’s a ‘Cold’ World
- 1960- Our American Heritage–Moments that Made America Great
Winter Carnival Events
Each year, some of the most talented student organizations interpret the Winter Carnival theme by preparing a short skit. Student organizations, fraternities, and sororities showcase their writing and acting skills during the competition. The skits are critiqued upon the following criteria: tastefulness, originality of production, entertainment value, and theme applicability. These shows may contain adult humor that is unsuitable for children.
Skits can be found on the Michigan Tech Winter Carnival YouTube Channel
The Winter Carnival Ambassador Competition was created in order to accommodate an online platform and safety standards. The goal is to highlight students who exemplify generosity, studiousness, and kindness, and contribute to either their organization, Michigan Tech, the surrounding community—or all three!—in a meaningful way. This will work much like a normal voting process where the person who has the most votes (through the Michigan Tech Involvement Link) will be the winner. Points will be distributed in the following manner: The top three scoring candidates will receive 10 points each for their organization.
Student Org Sponsor, Student’s Name, Curriculum
- Memorial Union Board, Jessica-Ann Woodard, Business Management
- Army ROTC, Sarah Miller, Exercise Science Pre-Med
- Phi Kappa Tau, Kaitlyn Black, Sustainability Science and Society
- Pep Band, Rachel Falls, Mechanical Engineering
- Alpha Gamma Delta and Sigma Tau Gamma, Paige Vruwink, Biomedical Engineering
- Guardians of the North, Mallory Fichera, Environmental Engineering
- St. Albert the Great University Parish, Grace Ojala, Geophysics and Anthropology
- Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Maddy Tata, Civil Engineering Delta
- Phi Epsilon & Delta Zeta, Lydia Savatsky, Mathematics – Business Analytics
- Beta Sigma Theta & Triangle Fraternity, Kayla Conn, Psychology Delta Upsilon
- Phi Delta Chi, Trevor Smith, Mechanical Engineering
On Wednesday, February 3rd, Michigan Tech’s campus will come alive as people kickoff Winter Carnival with snow statues, and entertainment as they enjoy a night in a winter wonderland. This night is the traditional All-Nighter and is such a large event that local hotels are regularly booked a year in advance.
The snow statues are one of Winter Carnival’s biggest attractions. There are two different categories for the statue competition: All-Nighter and month-long. All-Nighters begin Wednesday, February 3rd at 4:00 pm and must be completed by 9:00 am on Thursday, February 4th. Judging will begin at 9:30 am. Participants work hard throughout the night to construct their statue.
The month long statue builders began construction following Michigan Tech’s winter recess. These participants spend hours and hours every day constructing their statue. Month-long statues are also judged at 9:30 am on Thursday, February 4th. These statues are judged in the same category against one another (judging completed by 4:00 pm, February 4th). (Refer to the map in the center of this booklet to find statue locations).
Special Events provide a great way for many people to join in the fun of Winter Carnival. Events encompass a wide array of winter activities that appeal to many interests. Events include broomball on campus, tug-of-war, snow volleyball, human dogsled and snow soccer at the SDC practice fields, downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mont Ripley, Hairy Tales, and curling at the Calumet Drill House. Exact dates and times for the special events can be found on the Winter Carnival website.
Winter Carnival Apparel
Winter Carnival shirts will be available at University Images and The Campus Store throughout Winter Carnival 2021. The shirts will be available in four types: short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and crew neck sweatshirts. There is one color choice, each with the Winter Carnival 2021 logo centered on the chest. This year the shirts are available in gray. Also available this year is Winter Carnival glassware. Pint glasses bearing the Winter Carnival logo will be available at The Campus Store and University Images. You can reach University Images at 906-487-2969 and The Campus Store at 906-487-2410.
Winter Carnival History
Blue Key Honor Society has been the sponsor of Winter Carnival at Michigan Technological University since 1934. Blue Key’s responsibilities include planning and managing all Winter Carnival activities – a year-round task.
Michigan Tech, a university of over 7000 students, is best known for its strong College of Engineering. Besides engineering, Michigan Tech offers degrees from the College of Sciences & Arts, School of Business & Economics, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Michigan Tech is located in the city of Houghton, part of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. The Keweenaw often registers more than 200 inches of snow per year due to the northern latitude and nearby Lake Superior. Not being content to simply let all of this snow go to waste, students, for over 90 years, have joined together for spirited competitions and camaraderie known as Winter Carnival.
Winter Carnival had its beginnings at Michigan Tech in 1922, when student organizations on campus held a one-day “Ice Carnival.” The show was staged in a traditional circus setting, with costumed students serving as animals. Other events included band performances, student acts, and speed and figure skating competitions. For a few years, “Carnival”, as most Tech students call it, retained the circus theme and was so well received that students decided to make it an annual event.
The form of the first Winter Carnival has remained very constant over the years. The celebration featured a two game intercollegiate hockey series, a parade, skiing, skating, snowshoe races, and a dance. In 1936 came the biggest change in Carnival, one that would become its best-known tradition — snow statues. These statues were built by Tech students, as well as by local students, and the Houghton Rotary Club offered a prize for the best statue. Since then, Carnival statues have become famous for their size, detail, and design as building methods and “secrets” have been passed from year to year. With the outbreak of World War II, Winter Carnival was suspended until 1946 when another major feature of today’s Carnival was added. The “Stage Revue” showcased the theatrical skills of fraternities, sororities, and other campus organizations which performed skits for the enjoyment of the crowd and performers alike.
The Winter Carnival theme, which is chosen a year in advance during spring term, aims to provide a framework for statues, skits, and other carnival events by creating a catchy phrase with a wintery twist. During fall or spring term, a logo is chosen. This logo becomes the visual symbol of Winter Carnival and is used on all official Winter Carnival publications as well as sweatshirts and T-shirts that are available for sale to the public as a reminder of Carnival and the great times they had while at Michigan Tech.
2022 Winter Carnival Theme and Logo Contest
Entries for the 2022 Winter Carnival theme will be accepted starting in March – keep checking the www.mtu.edu/carnival/ website for specific dates. After a theme has been picked, submissions for the 2022 logo will start being accepted. A campus Bookstore gift card is awarded for the one that is chosen.