HOUGHTON — It’s almost time for Michigan Technological University’s legendary Winter Carnival.
And that means Michigan Tech student organizations are perched on scaffolding under lights, working deep into the night on Winter Carnival’s signature attraction — gigantic snow statues that take weeks to complete.
The theme this year is “As snow accumulates at alarming rates, we show our love for the 50 states.” Statues are expected to reflect that theme.
Winter Carnival, sponsored by the Blue Key Honor Society, officially starts on Wednesday, Feb. 3 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 6, although some activities have already begun, including ice bowling at the Dee Stadium and curling at the Calumet Drill House.
In ice bowling, students curl up in giant plastic shells, while other students hurl them across the ice at oversized bowling pins. Curling, of course, has nothing to do with hair. It is the Scottish sport of heaving a round stone down a lane of ice while teammates sweep furiously ahead of the stone with brooms, to help direct its movement and increase its speed.
The Yooper Sprint — a snowy race around the softball diamonds across from the Advanced Technology Development Complex — is slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30.
The Winter Carnival Queen competition will crown a winner beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.
At 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, All-Nighter overnight statue building begins. Interactive statues will be judged then. The Alumni Association will serve hot chocolate from 5 to 8 p.m. at Alumni House. Campus will be lit and lively all night, with karaoke from 9 to 11 p.m. and classic Winter Carnival snacks like chili and deep-fried Twinkies.
Thursday morning, Feb. 4, all statue building ends and judges make the rounds. Broomball will be played from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Beards Competition is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Fisher 135.
At 7 p.m. Feb. 4, student organizations will take to the Rozsa Center stage for the Stage Revue, a perennial Winter Carnival favorite.
On Friday, Feb. 5, the fun and games of snow volleyball, human dogsled racing, a tug-o-war, downhill skiing and snowboarding are scheduled throughout the day. Dogsled rides will be available from 3 to 7 p.m. outside Douglass Houghton Hall.
Saturday, Feb. 6 features a second Yooper Spring at the softball field, the student-alumni broom ball invitational at the campus broom ball rinks and horse-drawn sleigh rides outside Douglass Houghton Hall. Tech’s women’s basketball will play Grand Valley State at noon Feb. 6 in the Wood Gym, with the men’s basketball teams of both schools taking to the courts at 2 p.m.
The Winter Carnival hockey game against Lake Superior State University starts at 5:07 p.m. Feb. 6 at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, and at 8:15 p.m. a torchlight ski parade down Mont Ripley will be followed by fireworks.
Winter Carnival winds up with an awards ceremony at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, followed by the SnoBall in the Memorial Union Ballroom.