Application deadline for Winter Carnival snow sculpture contest extended to Jan. 31 | SteamboatToday.com

Application deadline for Winter Carnival snow sculpture contest extended to Jan. 31

Robin Jackson uses a saw to carve a snow sculpture for the 2019 Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival's snow sculpture contest.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s officially “on” for this year’s Winter Carnival snow sculpture competition, and the deadline to enter has been extended to Friday, Jan. 31. For the first year, prizes will be offered for the top three finishers, including a pair of custom-made skis from Harvest Skis.

“Thanks to a donor and local businesses, we have a really great spread of awards for the community,” said Sylvie Piquet, special events coordinator for Steamboat Creates, the nonprofit that runs the sculpture competition.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in both the student and community categories.

The snow sculpture contest begins Wednesday, Feb. 5, during Winter Carnival week with “packing day” as city and local excavating companies set up big blocks of snow for the competitors inside forms along Lincoln Avenue, downtown.

After sitting overnight, teams show up on Thursday, Feb. 6, to begin sculpting based on that particular year’s Winter Carnival theme. This year’s theme is “Light Up the Sky.”  

The “Snow Cat” team that’s won Best of Show for the last three years running will be too busy to compete this year, but they’re willing to offer up advice.

Karen and Larry Desjardin, who head up the team, said the sculpting is all about tools and planning.

“Coming up with the idea is the hardest thing,” Larry said. “We have a team dinner and throw out ideas. When you get the conceptual part, you then ask ‘how can I build this; how can it stay together?’”

Team Snow Cat uses a chain from an actual chainsaw to cut large chunks away by hand. Rules say you can only use manual labor and food dye, no motorized tools. They also use trowels to cut and shape as well as tools that grate.

“It’s a subtractive method,” Larry said.

“And a bucket is good. We’ll mix snow and water and use it as glue to fill in spaces,” Karen added.

2020 Winter Carnival Snow Sculptures Prizes

1st place student: New pair of Harvest Skis
1st place community: Snowmobile tour from Steamboat Snowmobile Tours
2nd place student: Ski Haus gift card
2nd place community: Ski Haus gift card
3rd place student: Off the Beaten Path and Johnny B. Good’s gift cards
3rd place community: Off the Beaten Path and Johnny B Good’s gift cards

The Desjardins have another piece of advice. Since you can use ice and food dye, you can freeze pieces to add to your sculpture. For example, one year their team made eyes by freezing dye-filled water and sticking it on their sculpture.

For the full rules and information on this year’s Sculpture Contest, email sylvie@steamboatcreates.org, call 970-879-9008 or visit the Depot Art Center, 1001 13th Street.

The competition reserves six spots for teams of students from any school or who are homeschooled. Another 14 spots can be reserved by any community member who wants to put together a team of up to five people.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.


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