Michigan Tech--Where They Celebrate Winter

Released: 12/18/2013 1:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Michigan Technological University
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only

Newswise — Gigantic snow statues, some of them towering over buildings. Ice bowling, snow volleyball and human dogsled races—with university students pulling the sleds as well as driving them—it’s Winter Carnival at Michigan Technological University.

Michigan Tech, a state university in Houghton, on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, sees an average of more than 200 inches of snow a year. But the students don’t burrow in for the duration. They celebrate their unique winter weather with a Winter Carnival the first week of February. This year it’s scheduled for Feb. 5-8.

Throughout the month of January, student organizations are out in the snowy cold at all hours, work lights blazing, building intricate and often enormous snow statues around a theme chosen by the Blue Key Honor Society, which sponsors Winter Carnival. This year’s theme is Nostalgic Films of Childhood Days Come to Life in Frosty Ways.

Classes are cancelled during Winter Carnival, so everyone can enjoy the fun. The legendary “All-Nighter” sees another, more concentrated snow statue contest, with groups starting at sundown and working through the night, knocking off at 8 a.m. to face the judges. During All-Nighter, the campus is lit and alive with students and families from the community, roaming the statue-building sites, throwing snowballs, enjoying traditional “All-Nighter” treats like chili, hot cocoa and deep-fried Twinkies. It’s a night of little sleep but lots of fun.

Snow statues aren’t the only Winter Carnival fun. There is a beard-growing competition and scores of outdoor activities, including broomball, a uniquely Michigan Tech passion involving students batting a ball around an ice rink, using specially constructed brooms.

Too much winter fun to catalog. See for yourself in photos and video.