Winter Carnival by Alexandra Dailey Dece

Winter Carnival by Alexandra Dailey
December… Winter… Christmas…
Being from the northern state of Michigan I associate one word with these three—snow. And along with the snow comes the ice. Both wintery forms of water can prove to be extremely dangerous when travelling, however, they can be used for creative, frozen splendor. I’m talking about art made from the subzero elements. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Houghton Hancock there occurs a Winter Carnival every February which is put on by Michigan Technological University. A multitude of activities and events take place during the festival weekend but the one that crowds flock to is the viewing of the snow and ice sculptures. University organizations and community groups participate in carving Michigan landmarks, buildings, professional sports team references, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and other unique “mitt” imagery. The tools of this trade are a bit more physically powerful than say a painter’s brushes, oils, canvases, and easels. Chainsaws, drills, chisels, tongs, and sometimes torches are used to create the pieces in the frigid outdoor gallery. Not only can sculptures be crafted with clay, marble, or metal, but they can be constructed out of what nature provides, and in the north Mother Nature provides much snow and ice. It is refreshing to see people use what they have within their reach to make temporary monuments. This coming February marks the 92nd year of this festival and I can’t wait to see the new icy art that the contestants are devising! If only I could actually attend like I did as a child. Oh well, thank goodness for the internet!
Interested in more information about the festival? Check out this link –
To read additional writings by Alexandra Dailey, visit her blog at or visit us at