Since 1958, Northern students have been spending a week in February playing broomball, building snow statues and competing for campus sweetheart. And though the name, and some of the events, has changed through the years, from All Events Week, to Winfester, Winterfest, as it’s known today, is still what it started out to be: a celebration of winter.
This year’s week of festivities kicks off on Feb. 15 and runs through Feb. 21. Residence hall houses, student organizations and on-campus apartments have organized teams to compete with each other in different events in order to win points. Whichever team receives the most points will become the ultimate winner of Winterfest, and receive a $200 prize.
This year’s Winterfest is themed, “Timbrr.Get Your Lumberjack On,” which was chosen in October by the Special Events Committee.
“I am really enjoying this year’s Winterfest theme,” said Katy Morrison, a graduate administrative assistant in the Center for Student Enrichment and adviser for the Special Events Committee. “It was a great collaborative effort on the part of the Special Events Committee to take the multiple ideas they had and develop a theme everyone was happy with. Plus, the Lumberjack theme has allowed the Special Events Committee to add some unique events.”
The activities for Winterfest range from an NMU vs. MTU Blood/Food Drive, a Broomball Tournament, a Lumberjack Look-a-like Contest, a Paul Bunyan Pancake Eat-Off Contest and a Lumberjack Brunch.
The NMU vs. MTU Blood Drive is an annual competition between the two schools. MTU holds a blood drive during their Winter Carnival, while NMU holds one during Winterfest.
MTU won the competition last year with 192 donors, while NMU could only rake in 100.
During MTU’s blood drive last week, they saw 211 donors. That’s what Northern will have to beat in order to win the competition between the two schools. A member of a Winterfest team can bring in one point for their team if they donate blood.
There will also be a nonperishable food drive as part of the competition between the rivaling universities for the first time this year, called Food Fight Until First Blood.
“The Special Events Committee has always realized the importance of contributing to the community during its events,” said Morrison. “I think the addition of the Food Fight Until First Blood is a wonderful demonstration of that spirit.”
Both the food drive and blood drive are sponsored by the Volunteer Center and the Special Events Committee.
There will also be an opportunity for students to sign up to be an organ donor during the blood drive.
Airband Competition: Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in Jamrich 102.
One of the older traditions of Winterfest, the Airband Competition features teams or individuals that lip sync and dance to a song of their choice. The event, which requires a $10 deposit, will give first place 50 points, $150, a DVD of the competition and Winterfest t-shirts and mugs.
Food Fight until First Blood: Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 12-5:45 p.m. at the LRC.
Collection boxes for the food drive will be all across campus, in many of the main buildings. The collection will go from Sunday, Feb. 15 to Saturday, Feb. 21.
Open Skate: Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Berry Events Center.
During the Open Skate, a banner competition will be held. Teams compete to see who can create the best banner to help decorate the walls of the Berry Events Center. The winner receives 40 points for their team.
Human Sled Dog Races: Sunday, Feb. 15 2 p.m. (Check in begins at 1:30 p.m.)
The sled dog race involves teams of seven people which will construct and pull a dogsled around a designated course inside a certain time period. Participants should dress warmly for this event.
NMU Free Ski and Snowboard Day: Thursday, Feb.19 at Marquette Mountain.
The Free Ski and Snowboard Day is sponsored by TCF Bank and Marquette Mountain, and will be held from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. The event is free for NMU students, as long as they have their Wildcat Willy I.D. card. There will be free lessons, free lift tickets and free rentals.
Clue: Sunday, Feb. 15 at 10 p.m.
The Special Events Committee will hide a medallion somewhere on campus. Each night during Winterfest, a new clue will be given at 10 p.m. to participating teams. If the medallion is not found, the game will end at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20 without a winner. First place will receive 50 points and $100. Remaining participating teams will receive 20 points.
OORP Camp-a-thon: Tuesday Feb.18- Thursday, Feb.20
The Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals will host this three-day event which will feature chocolate sales and a broomball tournament. Every evening during the camp-a-thon, a burn barrel will be lit to keep participants warm.
Lumberjack Brunch: Sunday, Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Marketplace
Students with meal plans can use them to pay for Brunch, and those without will be charged $6.95, the standard price for an all-you-care-to-eat lunch at the MP or Den. The band Grass Monkeys will be playing during the Brunch.