It's said when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. At Michigan Technological University, when Mother Natures gives you tons of snow, you play in it.
Continuing a tradition that began 95 years ago, Michigan Technological University will hold its annual Winter Carnival this month. This year’s theme is “Snow Cascades Across the Decades.”
Tech’s Winter Carnival began as a student-led one-night “Ice Carnival” in 1922. In 1934 Blue Key National Honor Society began organizing the Carnival and has continued to do so to this day.
While Carnival officially begins with the start of the All-nighter at 4 p.m. Feb. 8, activities started this past Saturday with curling, and there are plenty of activities scheduled for this week, including, ice bowling, ice fishing, snow volleyball and more. And of course, students have been working on their giant snow statues ever since they returned from Winter Break.
The popular Queen Coronation will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s finalists are Alexis Dani, Liesl Flannery, Rylee Price, Cathleen Saraza, Kelli Dekutoski, Amber Toboyek, Megan Schuentz and Shae Thompson. The newly-crowned Queen will then preside over all Carnival activities.
Each year, Blue Key works to present a Carnival that is enjoyable both to the groups participating and to the tens of thousands who come out to enjoy the fruits of the student’s work.
Blue Key President Bradley Torni says modifications to the class system this year ensure a fair and fun Winter Carnival for all organizations involved.
“We met with various student leaders to get feedback as we developed a new system,” Torni says. “We landed on three separate classes: men, women and co-ed. We’re confident this change will be fair for all organizations while seeing that everyone can still have a great time.”
Torni says another change will put three popular Saturday events in the same location. “We’re combining the awards ceremony and Snowball with the comedian’s performance to create a large event for Saturday.”
The Snowball, featuring a Michigan Tech jazz band and the Swing Dance Club, will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 in the lobby of the Rozsa Center. Following the dance, the awards ceremony will take place at 8:30 p.m. on the Rozsa stage.
The comedy show “College Humor Live” begins at 9 p.m. Saturday and features four of the hottest young comics in America. This year’s lineup consists of Ester Steinberg a rising New York comedian and star of “Funny Girls” on the Oxygen Network.
Joel Kim Booster is Chicago-bred and Brooklyn-based. He has appeared on Comedy Central, Logo and Conan.
Justin Hires is a stand up comic as well as an actor, recently starring in the television series “Rush Hour.” He has appeared in several films, including “Stomp the Yard” and ”21 Jump Street.”
Yannis Pappas is currently the host of AOL’s original series, “2 Point Lead.” He previously was co-anchor of “Fusion Live,” a one-hour news magazine. His Comedy Central special debuted in 2014 and is available on Amazon, iTunes and comedycentral.com. Pappas has appeared on TRUTV’s “How to be a Grown Up,” VHI’s “Best Week Ever” and “Good Morning America.”
This year’s All-nighter, which begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, promises to be full of the usual food, music, fun and frantic activity that Winter Carnival is known for. In addition to putting the final touches on the month-long statues, the one-nighter competition begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 8 a.m. the next morning.
Statue building is only one aspect of the All-nighter. Many campus organizations will be on hand selling incredible food, providing music, films, offering snacks and a variety of games. All-nighter is the perfect time to gather the family and visit campus.
"When we walk through campus, we’ll get a quick trip through time as we see different eras and iconic events come to life."
Other popular events include the Stage Revue at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Rozsa Center. Skits from seven student groups will poke gentle fun at all things Michigan Tech, including the iconic Husky statue.
The hilarious beard competition will take place just prior to the start of the All-nighter, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 in Fisher 135.
Since the inception of Winter Carnival, Husky sports has been a key component, and this year is no exception. Men’s and women’s basketball will take on Wayne State Feb. 9 and Saginaw Valley State on Feb. 11. The MacInnes Cup goes to the winner of the Winter Carnival Hockey Series. This year, WCHA foe Ferris State, currently sitting in fifth place in the conference standings, will attempt to wrestle the cup from the Huskies.
In addition to varsity athletics, broomball, the unofficial sport of Carnival, will be played on the outdoor courts all through Winter Carnival.
Torni says all indications point to an outstanding Carnival. “I’m really excited for Winter Carnival this year. Our theme “Snow Cascades Across the Decades” will bring out the creativity in everyone across all events, from month-long statues to Stage Revue. When we walk through campus, we’ll get a quick trip through time as we see different eras and iconic events come to life.”
For more information and a complete schedule, visit mtu.edu/carnival/.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 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.