All Night Long—Winter Carnival Revs Up

Students dance outside to music in a snow-supported sound system, during the annual All-Nighter.
Students dance outside to music in a snow-supported sound system, during the annual All-Nighter.
Students dance to music provided by Sound and Lighting Services in a snow-supported sound system, during the annual All-Nighter.

Students at Michigan Technological University will salute innovation and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). And they’ll do it using little more than snow, ice and their bare hands.

Continuing a tradition that began 97 years ago, Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival is here. This year’s theme is “Years of Innovation STEM from this Snowy Situation.” Classes are suspended for Carnival Thursday through Sunday (Feb. 7-10).

Queen Jill Reigns

While Carnival activities such as curling, snow volleyball and broomball have been going on for more than two weeks, things were taken to the next level, when Jill Poliskey was crowned Winter Carnival Queen Saturday (Feb. 2) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The fourth-year biological sciences pre-med student from Midland, Michigan, was also named Miss Congeniality. She was sponsored by St. Albert the Great University Parish and Suomi Home Bakery and Restaurant. Rachael Violassi was first runner-up and winner of the Audience Choice Award. Natalie McGrath was second runner-up.

Statues are Supreme

As always, the highlight of Carnival is the snow statue competition. Judging for the month-long and one-night statues takes place Thursday morning, following the festive “All Nighter.” The popular event, which draws students, staff, the community and visitors, begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday (Feb 6.), and features a wonderful variety of games, contests, music and unbelievable food sold by student organizations.

A 3D represtation of a snow statue
A 3-D representation of the 2018 One-Night snow statue winner, captured with Terrestrial Lidar technology. 

In keeping with the theme of innovation, statues get a “high-tech” treatment this year. Statues will be laser scanned using Terrestrial Lidar technology. The student-led project uses a laser to collect hundreds of thousands of measurements per second. Then students will use Terrestrial Lidar to create interactive 3-D models with incredible accuracy.

Taking Center Stage

Always an audience favorite, the Stage Review takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 7) at the Rozsa Center. For the second straight year, comedian Collin Moulton will host the event. Stage review chair Maddie Hunt, said Blue Key has taken some steps to ensure the program will be pleasing to both campus and community audience members.

“This year we’ve added a few student-run workshops to help each organization learn more about acting and state management.” Hunt said members of the Michigan Tech chapters of Alpha Psi Omega and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology led the workshops.

Hunt said 13 organizations initially auditioned for the Stage Review competition. The judges were so impressed, they choose eights skits for the final round rather than the usual seven.

Hunt said the event is exciting for both the performers and their audience. “Stage Revue is a great opportunity for any student to get a chance to act on the Rozsa stage. What’s really cool, is that students don’t need any prior acting experience to compete in this event.”  She said Stage Review offers organizations the second-highest number of points, which is important for the overall competition.

Looking for Lucky Number 7 

WCHA hockey is always a high point of Carnival, and this year looks to be one of the most exciting match ups in recent memory. The Huskies are seeking their seventh straight MacInnes Cup, awarded to winner of the two-game Winter Carnival series. Standing in their way is No. 6 Minnesota State. Not only are the Mavericks a top 10 team, they currently sit in first place in the league with a commanding 11-point lead over second-place Bowling Green State University. Tech is in fifth place in the conference. Games are 7:07 p.m. Friday and 5:07 p.m. Saturday at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

The torchlight parade and fireworks display begin at 8:45 p.m. Saturday on Mont Ripley. Events conclude Saturday with the SnoBall — a dance for students celebrating Winter Carnival at 9 p.m. at the Rozsa Center. Visit for a complete schedule of Carnival Events. 

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.