Huskies Feel the Spirit of Winter Carnival Past and Present

Smiling girl with a black plastic garbage can and snow staked out with a brick building in the background.
Smiling girl with a black plastic garbage can and snow staked out with a brick building in the background.
Young female in a hard hat on yellow scaffolding next to an ice chimney
many men running in the snow wearing snowshoes with a forest in the background
Michigan Tech Winter Carnival All-Nighter is a race to put the finishing touches on month-long statues and build one-night wonders from scratch.

Steaming chili—and clothes irons repurposed for statue polishing. Glow rings and dogs—and dogs wearing glow rings. Shouts from the broomball rinks. Cheers for aerial feats by the Ski and Snowboard Club. Yup, it's another Winter Carnival All-Nighter at Michigan Technological University.

The single-digit temperatures that settled in on the Keweenaw for the final week of the annual winter celebration zapped cell phone batteries, but didn't stop Huskies from making duly appointed rounds and consuming traditional treats. Twenty-four Huskies Pep Band members served up 180 deep-fried Twinkies, 520 Oreos and 520 cookie-dough chunks. The Chili Run delivered 100 gallons on two separate routes around campus. Twenty dozen pickled eggs satisfied the cravings. 

young woman in green vest hands chili cup from a van to a young man in line with other people waiting
 Get your chili here. Volunteers made two runs Wednesday night to keep all-nighters fueled. 

Huskies (and Other Pups) on Parade

Winter Carnival is a pet promenade. The hundreds strolling through campus to watch All-Nighter action included dozens of four-legged gawkers, who for the most part were more interested in each other than the statues.  


young man and husky dog by snow statue
 Winter Carnival: Where Huskies meet Huskies.

There's Got to Be a Morning After

Under the pre-dawn last-quarter moon and morning stars, snow squeaking underfoot, Dean of Students Bonnie Gorman and Enrollment and University Relations Associate Vice President John Lehman delivered six dozen donuts to those still laboring—or reporting for morning shifts—from the Delta Phi Epsilon teeter totterers (29 sisters, 36 hours, $1,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) in front of Van Pelt and Opie Library, to building staff in Chem Sci.

They were also busy putting the finishing touches on the shiny unicorn focal point for their first-place women's division entry, “A Creature of Purity and Grace Caught in This Frozen Place,” while torches blazed at the nearby Sigma Phi Epsilon month-long site as students hollowed out Neptune's left armpit. 

The sleep-deprived Delta Zeta sisters crafting "Tangled in the Wind and Snow, to Houghton Rapunzel Must Go" were grateful for donuts and ready for slumber. The nearby time-and-temperature LED sign registered zero degrees Fahrenheit at 7:56 a.m.; as the eight o'clock cut-off for statue completion drew near, one member noted that she met two deadlines—and that building a snow statue in one night is way more stressful than a lab report.

While the best-known competition is a wrap, carnival continues through the weekend. Some highlights: human dogsled races, sleigh rides, Huskies hockey and Snowman Left Behind, the attempt to break the world record for most snowmen built in an hour, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Sherman Field. There's also the Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Mont Ripley. The full schedule is on the Michigan Tech carnival website.


blizzard stuffed husky dog and girl with chili
 Blizzard T. Husky joins the All-Nighter revelry.


Travel Back to Carnivals of Yesteryear

Thousands of Carnival memories, thousands of Carnival photos. The Michigan Tech Archives is open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 10 for one of its regular Second Saturdays. Check out the Winter Carnival treasures on display, including memorabilia, photographs and pictorials. Research support services and genealogy assistance is available.

For more information, contact University Archivist Lindsay Hiltunen. In addition to in-person exploration and the Digital Commons, you can follow the Archives on Facebook and Twitter (@mtuarchives) for timely shots of Michigan Tech past.

Want more photos? Access, share and enjoy hundreds of Carnival moments on Michigan Tech Flickr.


Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.