HOUGHTON – Plywood frames, irons and stomping down the snow are just some methods students have passed on from generation to generation. The first snow statues for the Winter Carnival, were built back in 1936 after Blue Key took over operations for the event. Students from local high schools even took part in the event.
Today, frozen sculptures fall into different categories. From the all-nighter statues to those to take a month to build. Fraternities and sororities build the month-long projects. The goal of many of those MTU students is to build bigger and better creations than their predecessors from the early days of winter carnival.
“At the end of the day, it’s a tradition at our house, and we love doing it. So we build statues for us, but it’s a perk that everyone else gets to see them, and enjoy them.” – Dane Riha Statue Chairman Delta Sigma Phi,
“Yeah, it’s a lot of work but at the end of the day it’s really awesome to see everyone come together and create these beautiful sculptures. Our house has been apart of it for 75 years now, 74 years, something like that.” – Justin Liakos President, Delta Sigma Phi
“There’s no better feeling than around 8 o’clock and you go stand in the median behind, and you just stand back and look at the hard work you’ve been making for over a month straight.” – Dane Riha
There are many inside tricks and well-kept secrets for constructing the many awe inspiring winter carnival snow statues. All roles are critical to a successful statue. Groups have designated roles for their members. Those who are craftier may work on design and icing while others, strong enough, move snow to the site’s location all month long and throughout the night
“It depends on the person. But the statue chair will stand back, and be like. This guy, he’s really good at this, he’s really crafty. He can sculpt very well. This guy he’s a bruiser, He can sit there and scoop snow for hours. So you kinda find your sweet spots, but typically you start off moving snow and then you start sculpting. Older guys will start sculpting or working on the ice farms we have back at the house. Or you work on letters, stuff like that.” – Dane Riha
“Ultimately we like to groom certain people into certain positions on the statue. Its really about finding people’s strengths and fitting them in with what they’re good at, what we need.” – Justin Liakos
Last night’s all nighters was filled with many happy faces, joyous cheers and onlookers who took in the hard work and pressure m-t-u students felt all night while constructing their snow covered sculptures. More events are taking place over the weekend.
Winter Carnival Schedule
Winter Carnival Snow Statue Winners and Results