Onlookers appreciate a snowscape honoring the mining history of the Copper Country. Michigan Technological University
What's happening: The Michigan Tech Winter Carnival, the Upper Peninsula’s largest winter festival, starts Wednesday, February 8. Hosting numerous events for the citizens of the Houghton-Hancock area and Tech students alike, the carnival will conclude with its annual “SnoBall” dance on Saturday after the hockey game.
How it's funded: The Winter Carnival is operated by MTU, but has numerous ways to help raise funds, accept sponsorships and encourage growth. Local businesses often sponsor various student competitions, but bigger events can be hosted by nearby organizations like Mont Ripley or the Calumet Drill House for skiing and curling, showcasing why it is a successful regional event.
Traditions after 100 years: This is the 101st Winter Carnival, with organizers now hitting a struggle of balancing tradition with keeping the event fresh. Traditional celebrations like fireworks, outdoor games and NCAA hockey keep the carnival relevant for students. Rotating performances (this year’s headliner is former Saturday Night Live comic Mikey Day) and the outdoor ice mass makes the event a winter pilgrimage for many regional Catholics. To find new ways to keep the event fun, the student leadership worked hard to expand on food options throughout the event.
What they're saying: "With this year’s food theme, we took on a new adventure of accepting external vendors,” said MTU Blue Key National Honor Society President Joe Dlugos. “The preliminary list of participating eateries includes The Forge, Chicago Beefs and Jim’s Pizza. “We will still have the favorites everyone loves, including pasties, chili, the Huskies Pep Band’s fried foods and Guardians of the North (Air Force ROTC)’s pancake breakfast.”