The Winter Carnival All-Nighter: A Magical Culinary Tour

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

When the campus comes alive for Winter Carnival on Wednesday's all-nighter, there are two things you can count on, in addition to snow statue building and cold temperatures: good food and lots of music.

Both were in abundance as we started our tour with the amazing deep-fried Twinkies, Milky Ways, and Snickers. The DaWGs (Pep Band) were in their fourth year of serving up the high-cholesterol creations. Drake's flour was used for the batter, we were told, and we were among their first customers.

(To see an actual student eating an actual deep-fried Milky Way, visit .)

We each chose a different variety, and they were very good. Some heavy metal blasted from a small Chevy parked nearby; the back half of the vehicle was all speakers and electronic gadgetry glowing in blue lights. The Kashmir House from Wadsworth Hall was inspired by the loud tunes as they built their statue. Behind them, snowboarders were jumping on a hill they had created near Dillman Hall.

Further along, the Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise team was giving away cotton candy. They discussed their latest projects: engineering a pallet system for the Keweenaw Brewing Company and some secretive work for Buick.

Rap music emanated from a car parked near the Phi Delta Chi sorority statue site. "Is that Eminem?" I asked. The women didn't think so; they "just had it on random play and kept moving to keep warm."

So did we, as it was near 0 degrees.

After ducking into the Walker building for a break, we played a quick 8.5 holes of miniature golf, created by the DaWGs. Throughout the course, monsters and spaceships had to be negotiated, keeping with this year's theme: "A Frozen Place Gets a Blast from Space." The "half-hole" was three-feet wide and set into their countertop.

That golf worked up an appetite, and we headed for the Society of Women Engineers' "SWEshkabobs": my favorite. I had the all-beef variety, but they also had chicken, veggie, and mixed. They do something with their spices. Some soft C&W was playing nearby.

"How do you stay warm?"

"Jumping jacks!"

The next blast of music was crystal clear as we approached Fisher Hall from the east. I kept looking for the source, but none of the groups of statue builders had boom-boxes or cars nearby.

Pink Floyd was palatable, and as we got near the library the source was revealed. The Audio Engineering Society had set up between the EERC and the Chemical Sciences Building. They claim 20,000 watts at peak, and they had blown an 18-inch sub-woofer during testing, they said with obvious pride. They knew that, in past Carnivals, their tunes could be heard on Denton Road, some three miles to the southeast.

And they did turn it down when WLUC TV-6 did their live broadcasts from nearby, including an interview with President Glenn Mroz. The audio guys also had a 1:30 a.m. curfew to follow, Public Safety reminded them.

But when TV-6 finished, and they cranked it back up to the classic rock of Boston, more than a few spectators broke out in dance.

The International Night folks were selling the Library Bar house soup, creamy onion, and it was excellent. Located in front of the other library, they were braving both the cold and the volume from the Audio Engineering guys. They didn't mind a bit.

The last culinary delight was the all-American hot dog served up by the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. They were raising funds to erect a bench on campus that would feature their unique logo above it.

There was a long line of folks getting free hot chocolate and nice travel mugs from the Alumni Association staff near the ME-EM Building. (We had gotten ours earlier.)

As we excited the mall, the sound of Pearl Jam was very clear, thanks to the aforementioned deejays, and many groups of people were descending on the scene.

For most of them, it was just beginning. With stomachs full and ears buzzing, we went home.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.