Having lived in North Dakota for a good portion of my childhood, I was treated to some rather impressive snow and ice sculptures. If you’re a fellow admirer of such things, you’ll be happy to know the International Snow Sculpture Championships are have kicked off this week.
FOX Weather reports Breckenridge, Colorado is currently hosting the championships. Beginning this Monday, sculptors must finish their work by Friday morning at 9 a.m. This happens to be the 31st annual competition for snow sculpting. Sculpting teams came from around the world to create massive works of art out of the white fluff.
Breckenridge Ski Resort supplied the snow and then local volunteers stomped it into 12-foot tall, 25-ton blocks. As if that isn’t impressive enough, competitors can’t use powered equipment in the competition. That’s right, they can only use hand tools and whatever the weather happens to bring their way.
FOX Weather spoke to Keith Martin, an International Snow Sculpting Championships competitor, about the competition. “It’s been a running joke for years that you have four members on your team, but the fifth member always shows up in a different way, and she’s mother nature,” Martin joked. “She can show up in the form of cold and snow, which we really like obviously, or she can show up in warm weather and sunshine.”
The championship award ceremony takes place Friday, so if you’re curious, I’d keep an eye on the news that morning.
Where to Find Amazing Ice Castles in America
While the International Snow Sculpting Championships are taking place in Colorado, those who enjoy winter-themed art have other options too. For example, there is a company dedicated to making ice castles in several states.
Appropriately named Ice Castles, the company makes magnificent structures in five different states. Every year, they set up shop in Utah, New York, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Like the championship in Colorado, their artists build the castles by hand with icicles, water, and a lot of hard work.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. The company fits each castle with colorful LED lights and surrounds them with sculptures to really make them stand out. They even have their own Instagram account to give you an idea of what to expect, should you opt to go.
Admission prices differ by state and weekends cost more, but starting this month, they are open for business. Founder Brent Christensen said the company came to be after he crafted his own sculpture in his front yard years ago. Seeing how happy it made his children, he created Ice Castles to bring that same joy to other families.
If you’re curious, give their official website a look.