Phi Kappa Tau secures fifth consecutive snow statue win

Catherine Huston

After a bustling all-nighter, winners of the 2023 Winter Carnival snow statue competition were announced by the Blue Key National Honor Society Thursday afternoon. Claiming first in the month-long competition for the fifth consecutive year was Phi Kappa Tau. They won the men’s and overall month-long divisions with a Willy-Wonka-themed statue. Tau Kappa Epsilon took second. The women’s month-long division win went to Alpha Sigma Tau, with a Candyland-themed sculpture. Alpha Gamma Delta and Sigma Tau Gamma took first in the month-long Co-Ed division with another Candyland-themed build.

Fifty-three groups and organizations registered to participate in the all-nighter statue competition. Of these, snagging first both overall and in the Co-Ed all-nighter division was St. Albert the Great University Parish Campus Catholic Ministries. The group built a statue titled “Jonah is the snack, ravenous sea monster, does he smile back?” Grabbing first in the men’s all-nighter division was The Bastille, who crafted a Burger King Whopper. The women’s all-nighter division went to the Society of Women engineers for their “Alphabet SWEoup.” 

Despite Winter Carnival finding its beginnings in 1922, snow statues were not a part of the festivities until 1936. The first statues were constructed not only by Tech students and organizations, but also by local school children. The Houghton Rotary Club awarded a prize to the best statue built by the local children. Since then, the sculptures have grown more substantial and elaborate as building techniques have improved. 

Since its inception, the statue competition has been a staple of Winter Carnival. When asked what the competition meant to him, builder for The Bastille sculpture, Corbin Baranoski, said, “It’s an excuse to take a break from classes and have fun with friends.” He continued stating that he “would recommend participating to anyone and everyone.” 

For pictures of all the statues and more information about other Winter Carnival results, visit