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Travelog post for: Sully Monster

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Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

Wow!

The snow statues we went to go see are part of the larger celebration at Michigan Technological University called "Winter Carnival".  This is the history about it, from the Winter Carnival website:

Michigan Tech often registers more than 200 inches of snow in a season. Not content to let this abundant natural resource go to waste, students band together in an annual celebration of our beautiful, tough, exhilarating, and character-building climate.

Winter Carnival began in 1922, with a one-day Ice Carnival. It was so popular that students made it an annual event, and Winter Carnival as we know it began to take shape.

It was suspended in 1930, in the aftermath of the stock market crash, but in 1934, Blue Key Honor Fraternity resurrected the event. Then, 1936 brought the biggest change, one that would become Carnival's best known tradition: snow statues.

Since then, the statues have become famous for their size, detail, and design as building methods (and secrets) have been passed from year to year.

During World War II, Winter Carnival was again suspended. It took off again in 1946, when the Stage Revue was added, with fraternities, sororities, and other campus organizations presenting skits for the enjoyment of the crowd and the performers alike.


Winter Carnival events start at the beginning of the Spring term, with the construction of the month-long statues (the bigger ones I'll show you in a minute!).  Then two or three weeks before the actual event, there are a lot of competitions, like broomball, skiing, human dogsled races, snowboarding, etc. 

Then there's a big ta-da at the end on a Wednesday night.  On that night a lot of other groups get together and while the people making month-long statues are finishing theirs, they make one-nighter statues that are a lot smaller.  There is activity on campus all night until the wee hours of the morning, and the deadline to be finished is 8am on Thursday.  Then Thursday morning everyone walks around the area taking photos of them all before they melt/fall apart.  All the minute details usually don't last more than a couple days (it warms up and melts, or it'll snow more on top of them, etc.) but the big structures will be up most of the rest of the winter until they melt.

There are so many people around that it was too hard to get a photo with me in it, but I hope you like them anyway!  They look  so awesome in person, the detail on some of them is amazing.

First the big month-long ones:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2192/2254320329_62e060eb11.jpg
King Kong fighting a monster!

Oh yeah, the theme was Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2218/2254320673_a47de96203.jpg
The Abominable Snowman!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2045/2254321223_37b42301fe_m.jpghttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2178/2254323671_a387a22089_m.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2137/2255121666_96f6d7fc45.jpg
The Ghostbusters fighting the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

More coming in the next post!

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 7:43 pm [Quote] Go to the top of the page


 

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