2024 Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Schedule, Map | Ice Sculptures, Activities in Houghton MI Upper Peninsula | Dates, Pictures, Theme

2024 Michigan Tech Winter Carnival in Houghton | Ice Sculptures, Activities in MI's Upper Peninsula

By: Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated: November 1, 2023

Are you ready for the 102nd Michigan Tech Winter Carnival?  Chris and I are excited!  Michigan's Upper Peninsula receives an average of...240 inches of snow each winter, so why not celebrate!?

Winter Carnival is an annual celebration characterized by snow statues, outdoor games, and many student activities. 

What is 2024 Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Dates?

February 7–10, 2024

Map of Events at Michigan Tech Winter Carnival in Houghton - Upper Peninsula!

Where is Michigan Tech Winter Carnival? It's held all across Michigan Tech's campus located in Houghton Michigan. See our map above!

Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival History

Winter Carnival first began way back in 1922 and over the years, the festival has proved itself as one of the largest annual winter festivals in the nation.

This wildly popular Michigan winter festival is organized by Blue Key National Honor Society. Here are some early interesting dates:

1922 - This first, one-night ice carnival began it all!  Such a beloved Michigan Tech tradition!

1924 - A Big Top is erected and the Ice Carnival show is performed in a sawdust Circus ring! 

1928 - The first year for the Queen Competition! Candidate judging categories included beauty, ice skating, and skiing skills. This girl's got talent!

1936 - Michigan Tech students and local school children build the first Carnival snow statues! And so the tradition continues!

Visitors to Winter Carnival can enjoy dozens of larger than life snow statues built and displayed all across the Huskies campus and the Houghton MI community.

  • Michigan Tech students love showing their winter spirit and love of the vast amount of snow while participating in broomball, comedy skits, sleigh rides, a queen coronation, and well, winter fun.
  • The Student Organizers is the Blue Key National Honor Society. 

I can't think of a better way to spend snowy afternoons than wandering across Michigan Tech's campus enjoying the intricate snow statues and watching student groups compete in fun wintry activities!

Super Cool Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Snow Statues and Ice Sculptures (Past Years)

These detailed snow and ice sculptures created by Michigan Technological students are just breathtaking!  I mean, such skill, dedication, teamwork and well, love of the cold and Michigan's Upper Peninsula is shown here! All the past Michigan Tech Winter Carnival winners are impressive!

1st Place, Phi Kappa Tau 2022

Winter Carnival Incredible snow sculpturePast Michigan Tech Winter Carnival winners. Photo: Michigan Technological University

2nd Place, Tau Kappa Epsilon 2022

Winter Carnival Incredible snow sculpturePast Michigan Tech Winter Carnival winners. Photo: Michigan Technological University

Michigan Tech Winter Carnival 2024 Theme!  DRUM ROLL....

The Theme for Winter Carnival 2024 is..."From Forests to Shores We Love the Outdoors"

Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Events in Houghton-Hancock!

  • Broomball - Teams will play for two 10 minute periods, held at the Broomball Rinks.
  • Curling - Takes place at The Drill House in Calumet
  • Cross Country Skiing - Takes place at the Recreatioal Sports Fields
  • Downhill Skiing - Giant slalom style event. Takes place at Mont Ripley Ski Hill.
  • Snowboarding - Competitors race to the finish line. Takes place at Mont Ripley Ski Hill.
  • Human Dog Sled Races - 6 people pulling a sled holding 4 riders and a musher.  Teams race in a homemade sled! Takes place at the Recreational Sports Fields.
  • Ice Bowling - Just like bowling on ice only...a team member will ride on a sled to act as a ball and slide down a 9 foot wide ice lane to knock down as many pins as possible. Held at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. 
  • Snow Soccer - Soccer, played in the snow! Held at Hubbell Field - the upper and lower soccer fields (the two grass playing fields located next to the SDC).
  • Speed Skating - One lap, Two laps, 4 person relay. Held at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. 
  • Snow Volleyball - Volleyball competition played in the snow! Takes place at the Recreational Sports Fields.
  • Tug of War - Held at Michigan Tech’s outdoor softball fields, located adjacent to the SDC.
  • Banner Paintings - Displayed in downtown Houghton businesses. Students can vote for their favorite banner.

Meanwhile come out to pick your favorite best statue!

2023 Daily Schedule - Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival

January 1, 2023 - Month-Long Competition BEGINS!

12:01 is the kickoff of the Month-Long Statue Build!  See statues beginning to form all across the Michigan Tech Campus! This month-long contest is so exciting to watch as the snowy sculptures keep growing!

January 28, 2023 - MTU Winter Carnival

10:00 a.m. Snow Volleyball at the Recreational Sports Fields (Softball/Baseball) - Located on E. Sharon Avenue across from the ATDC building. 

3:30 p.m. Curling at the Calumet Drill House. *See Fun Fact Below!

Fun Fact

What is the Calumet Drill House? Built in 1885, the building is a former drill bit manufacturing plant for the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company. Closed in 1968, it sat empty for 37 years until the curling club set up shop in 2005.

January 29, 2023

10:00 a.m. Curling at the Calumet Drill House

5:00 p.m. Snow Volleyball held at the Recreational Sports Fields (Softball/Baseball). Lots of winter fun!

January 31, 2023

9:00 p.m. Ice Bowling at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

February 2, 2023

9:00 p.m. Ice Bowling at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

February 4, 2023

11:00 a.m. Snow Soccer held at the Soccer Fields

5:00 p.m. Speed Skating at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

7:00 p.m. Winter Carnival Royalty Competition!  Held at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Auditorium.

  • Get your Winter Carnival Royalty Competition tickets early!

February 5, 2023

10:00 a.m. Broomball held at the Broomball Rinks

7:00 p.m. Snow Soccer held at the Soccer Fields

February 6, 2023

6:00 p.m. Winter Carnival Geospatial Imagery

  • What is Geospatial Imagery? Michigan Tech geospatial engineering students of the National Society of Professional Surveyors use LIDAR to scan Winter Carnival snow statues with help from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.  And it gets cooler.... LIDAR data collects millions of points enabling a 3D-print of an entire snow creation to present as a trophy to each of the prize-winning snow sculpture teams!

February 9, 2023

11:00 a.m. Broomball held at the Broomball Rinks, Overlooking the lawn in front of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m. Bigfoot Glowshoe held a the Michigan Tech Trail Head: Outdoor Adventure Program, across the road from Sherman Football Field. Come see oodles of glow-up lighting accessories and lights along trails! Come out to walk the trails decked out in your glowshoe attire. 

  • Ticket prices are: $5 for students and $15 for faculty, staff, and visitors. Registration opens on January 16th and recommend pre-registering by January 30th! Sign-up 

6:00 p.m. Cross Country Skiing held at the Recreational Sports Fields (Softball/Baseball)

7:00 p.m. Winter Carnival Stage Revue Show held at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Auditorium.

  • Get your Winter Carnival Stage Revue Show tickets early!


February 10, 2023

10:00 a.m. Tug of War held at the SDC Softball Fields

2:00 p.m. Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding held at Mont Ripley Ski Area.

7:07 p.m. -10:07 p.m. Men's Ice Hockey. Bowling Green vs. Michigan Tech at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. 

  • Get your tickets early for the Men's Ice Hockey game.

February 11, 2023

8:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. 2023 Alumni-Student Broomball Invitational held on Walker Lawn.

  • Register early for the 2023 Alumni-Student Broomball Invitational

1:00 p.m. Human Dog Sled Race held at the Recreational Sports Fields (Softball/Baseball)

5:07 p.m. - 8:07 p.m. Men's Ice Hockey. Bowling Green vs. Michigan Tech at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. 

  • Get your tickets early for the Men's Ice Hockey game.

Where To Park During Winter Carnival To Attend the Fun Activities and See the Incredible Snow Sculptures!

Daily Event Parking: During Winter Carnival, parking lots 5, 9, and 27 will be available beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2023. 

Parking in these lots will be free of charge, no permits required.

There will also be free parking at all metered areas.

OVERNIGHT PARKING: Overnight parking is not allowed at the meters. Visitors requiring overnight parking may park in Lot 9 without a permit.

Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Royalty!

  • Josie Edick - 2023 Winter Carnival Royal Majesty
  • Lila Johnson -2023 1st Runner Up, Audience Choice Award
  • Emily Calhoun
  • Emma Quinn
  • Hannah Quinn
  • Lilly Bolliger
  • Madi Owens
  • Sara Gelon

Did You Know Houghton is the 3rd Snowiest City in America?

In the 1978-79 snow season, a whopping 390 inches of snow fell in the Keweenaw County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Um, that's over 32 feet!

  • In 2021, Houghton received 27 feet of snow!
  • The Keweenaw Peninsulas' 54 Year Average is 240.8 inches!! WOW!

Weather.com studied the 30-year average annual snowfall data from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center from 1981-2010.

And guess what?

  • Upper Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula wins 3rd place as the Snowiest City in America! (Who are the other two? #1 Valdez, Alaska and #2 Crested Butte, Colorado).

What to do in all this snow?  Celebrate! Let's go to Michigan Tech Winter Carnival!  Oh, and of course, go skiing!  Indianhead Mountain and Big Powderhorn Mountain are two Great Michigan Ski Resorts!

Sherry Trautman Bio Picture

About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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