When we started our journey in 2019, we planned to spend more time in each city so we could learn more about it and enjoy it as a “local.” In our first stop, Breckenridge, CO, we stayed for a month. This gave us the opportunity to enjoy a lot the community more than our typical week-long ski trip. Not only did we see more of the town, but we also enjoyed some of the city’s favorite events, including the International Snow Sculpture Championship.
I had not heard of this competition before and was impressed by all the countries represented. Teams from Mongolia, India, Mexico, China and more flew into Breckenridge for this annual event. Each team has four sculptors who work from a small model of their design to create a work of art out of a 20 ton block of packed man-made snow. The event kicked off on Tuesday with an opening ceremony. The artists start right away and have until Friday at 9 a.m. to complete their sculpture. Many work through the night to finish.
While I did not agree with the judges’ decisions on the winners, it was amazing to watch the artwork go from a 12 foot tall square of snow on Tuesday into an intricate design by Friday. Plus, it was wonderful to have the time and flexibility to watch the festival from kick-off to the bull dozing end. If you have a chance, I would recommend coming to see it!
Gold went to Mexico for the Cenote Garden (see our title picture). Silver went to Germany for Walls with Holes. Bronze went to Dancing Hippos from Great Britain. Team Ecuador was the Artist Choice for Organic Geometry. And our favorite as well as People’s Choice went to Team Breckenridge with Ullr. Not only did they sculpt the Snow God, but his dog, a small village and pot of ice and snow. It had a lot of great details.
A few of the others:
Instead of bulldozing, they could add another award, the longevity one-the one that survives the longest through winter and into spring.
We thought it would be nice if they would just let them stay and melt, but they build them in a parking lot and parking spaces are at a premium here at Breckenridge so no way they can wait for meltdowns. It would be interesting though to watch them change.