Snow Sculptures will adorn Lincoln Avenue during the 106th Winter Carnival |

Snow sculptures will adorn Lincoln Avenue during Winter Carnival

Robin Jackson works on a snow sculpture in front of Downtown Conoco along Lincoln Avenue for last year’s Snow Sculpture contest. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — During the 106th Winter Carnival, 22 snow sculptures will transform downtown into an outdoor gallery reflecting this year’s theme, “Blast of Winter: Snow Play.”

“Last year my dad and I carved our first snow sculpture,” said Dagny McKinley, Steamboat Creates development coordinator. “We had no experience, but I have to say, we both loved being part of the tradition.”

Community members and high school students were encouraged to put together teams of five for the 2019 Winter Carnival snow sculpture contest.

If you go

What: Snow Sculpture viewing
When: 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7
Where: Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs

Snow packing for the 22 sculptures will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, along Lincoln Avenue.

Each sculpture begins with a 4-foot by 4-foot by 8-foot block of snow as a canvas. City workers drive front-end loaders up one side of Lincoln and down the other and then dump the collected snow into wooden forms. Volunteers stomp on the snow to pack the blocks tight.

Then, at about 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, the teams show up with shovels and other tools to start chipping away at the blocks, marking the official start of the snow sculpture contest.

“The best time to see them, depending on weather, is Thursday evening,” McKinley said. “The past two years have been unseasonably warm, so the coloring and detail in some of the sculptures melted by the following day.”

Judging will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. Community and high school teams will be competing for Best in Show and the People’s Choice Award, as well as first, second and third place.

Winners will be awarded with ribbons and announced at the Winter Carnival Street Events as well as the Night Extravaganza event Saturday.

In the past, popular sculptures included animals, such as bears and seals, as well as those that people can crawl in and out of, such as igloos and even a stagecoach, which Steamboat Springs High School students built a few years ago.

Sylvie Piquet, Steamboat Creates special events and facility manager, said this year’s snow sculpture designs include everything from a dragon throne to a resting camel, inspired by Larry the camel. Another design, “Bears in the ‘Boat,” features two bears sitting in a small fishing boat.

“I’m really excited to engage with the community around this tradition — one that bridges that creativity element with the outdoors to have an event that brings people together, creating things together,” Piquet added.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.


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