Winter Carnival 2013 Celebrates Good Guys and Bad

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Phi Kappa Tau's first-place Statue: "Don't Underestimate The Dreams of Detroit."
Phi Kappa Tau's first-place Statue: "Don't Underestimate The Dreams of Detroit."

Michigan Technological University is gearing up for Winter Carnival, its annual celebration of the cold season. This year’s comic book-inspired theme, “Heroes and villains find their powers, in these frozen winter hours,” echoes the efforts of the Tech students, who are spending many heroic hours—nearly all of them frozen—constructing their signature statues of snow and ice.

The Winter Carnival recess is officially Wednesday, Feb. 6, through Sunday, Feb. 10. But since early January, student groups entered in the month-long contest have been doggedly erecting snow statues.

The All-Nighter begins at 4 p.m., Feb. 6, when students put in a final push before statue judging the following morning. During the evening, crowds wander the campus enjoying food, music and camaraderie. Eventually, they drift home, leaving the statue builders to labor until dawn, putting the final touches on their creations.

Statue building ends at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, and visitors flock to Houghton to marvel at the snowy dioramas. Dog sled and sleigh rides will be held Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 7-9, outside Douglass Houghton Hall.

On Friday, Feb. 8, the Admissions Office will lead campus tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on Saturday, the Van Pelt and Opie Library will host a hot chocolate and book sale to benefit the library from noon until 4 p.m.

Winter Carnival, sponsored by Blue Key, is about much more than statues, however. Here’s a schedule highlighting the upcoming events.

Saturday, Feb. 2

Ice Fishing Tournament, 8 a.m., Chassell Bay
This walleye-and-northern-pike competition offers cash prizes and is open to the community. The entry fee is $10.

Winter Carnival Queen Talent Competition and Coronation, Rozsa Center
Eight contestants will vie for the Winter Carnival Queen title. The talent portion of the competition begins at 7 p.m., and the winner is crowned at the end of the evening. The winner is chosen by a vote of the campus and the community.

Thursday, Feb. 7

Beards Competition, 1 p.m., Fisher Hall, Room 135
Students have been growing their facial hair practically since Thanksgiving and will be judged on a variety of factors, including “overall creativity of presentation.”

Banner Contest, 2 p.m., MacInnes Student Ice Arena
Banners relate to school spirit and are judged by the Athletics Department.

Basketball, 5:30 p.m. men, 7:30 p.m. women
Ferris State at Michigan Tech

Stage Revue, 7 p.m., Rozsa Center
Student organizations have been working for weeks to put together the productions known on campus as skits.

Friday, Feb. 8

Winter Carnival hockey game, 7:07 p.m., Student Ice Arena
Alaska Anchorage at Michigan Tech

Saturday, Feb. 9

Bigfoot Showshoe event, 8:30-11:30 a.m., at the Michigan Tech softball fields
Open to everyone

Basketball, 1 p.m. men, 3 p.m. women
Grand Valley State at Michigan Tech

Hockey, 5:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Michigan Tech

Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, 8 and 8:30 p.m.
Skiers descend Mont Ripley with torches, followed by fireworks shot from the top of the hill.

Comedy Central On Campus, 9 p.m., Rozsa Center
Featuring comedians John Mulaney, Sheng Wang and Rory Scovel. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.75 for adults, $20.75 for students, available in advance at This is adult fare.

Awards Ceremony, 9 p.m., Memorial Union Ballroom

Sno-Ball, 9:15 p.m., Memorial Union Ballroom

Student Competitions

Throughout Carnival, student groups compete with surprising intensity in a number of sports you won’t see just anywhere. You can check them out at the places and times below.

Ice bowling—Dee Stadium
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 31, 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m.

Skating—Dee Stadium
Saturday, Feb. 2, 8 a.m.

Yooper Sprint—Student Development Complex Practice Fields
A ski on one foot, a snowshoe on the other
Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m.

Curling—Calumet Drill House
Friday, Feb. 1, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m.

Cross country skiing—Michigan Tech Trails
Saturday, Feb. 2, 1 p.m.

Snow volleyball—Student Development Complex Practice Fields
Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m.

Human dogsled races—Student Development Complex Practice Fields
Friday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m.

Tug o’ war—Student Development Complex Practice Fields
Friday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m.

Downhill skiing—Mont Ripley Ski Hill
Friday, Feb. 8, 12:30 p.m.

Snowboarding—Mont Ripley Ski Hill
Friday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m.

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.