Snow statue competition transforms Houghton into life-size snow globe

A crowd gathers in front of the winning statue: Tau Kappa Epsilon's “Behold a Frozen Thor, Mighty God of Viking Lore.”

HOUGHTON — It’s snow statues, and ski jumping, and cart wheels in the snow. It’s a mosh pit in 5 degrees. It’s Winter Carnival, and it’s here.

There is no shortage of creativity. The MTU Four Wheeler Club added a twist to the interpretation of this year’s theme with their statue.

“This year the theme is Myths and Legends of the Past- In Our Frigid Forecast. We were kind of just joking around and were saying ‘Well, parking is a myth on campus. There’s not enough parking, that’s a myth.’ We submitted it and, to our surprise, it was approved. Three weeks later, this is where we’re at,” said Brice Richard of the Four Wheeler Club.

The display is two very detailed, hand carved jeeps that reportedly initially offended campus Parking Services.

Rachael Veeran of the Four Wheeler Club said, “Parking services didn’t really like the whole idea, thinking it was derogatory towards the department. Then, after talking to Kristi Isaacson, we’re okay with it now.”

As a symbol of their sense of humor, Campus Police issued one the Jeeps a fictitious parking ticket. As the all-stars played broom ball, skiers and snowboarders formed a single file line climbing to the top of a 20-foot mound of snow that they each took turns riding down before choosing which jump to perform their stunt from.

When the crowd migrated from the parking lot ice rinks, two DJs began taking turns playing music from a large fully functional snow statue DJ Booth.

“Every for Winter Carnival All-Nighter, we build a statues and then we have a dance essentially. We get some DJs out here. Its just a good time,” said Statue President Nathan Goering.

Although the team had some technical issues in the beginning, they were able to figure out a solution and get the crowd going.

“Oh, when we finally got it worked out it was a big relief off of our shoulders for sure, and it was nice to see every one here actually enjoying the music,” said sound engineering student, Warren Krettek.

Zareck Pirkola commends his team mates for all their hard work on the build.

“Overall, it’s a big team effort it takes a lot of effort to get this statue constructed. There’s been times where we’ve been out until 12:30 or 1:30 in the morning. Its a lot of fun but it really takes a lot of effort out of all of us,” he said.

The dance party lasted until 1:30 a.m., and statue building continued until day break.

On Thursday, spectators line the streets in admiration of all that went into creating the Keweenaw’s life size snow globe.  Tau Kappa Epsilon took first place in the month-long build category. This is the fraternity’s second win in the past three years.

The weekend will feature many more outdoor activities, including an attempt at breaking a world record for the most snowmen built in a one hour period. For more information on this weekend’s activities, click HERE.