Winter Carnival snow sculptures taking shape to reflect “Steamboat’s Olympic Spirit” |

Winter Carnival snow sculptures taking shape to reflect “Steamboat’s Olympic Spirit”

Local artist Sandy Graves shapes a snow sculpture last year at the corner of Third Street and Lincoln Avenue. Creating snow sculptures along Lincoln Avenue has been a long-running Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival tradition.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The community's artistic abilities will be put to the test as the Winter Carnival snow sculptures return to Lincoln Avenue.

During the 105th Winter Carnival, 22 snow sculptures will transform downtown into an outdoor gallery reflecting the contest's theme of "Steamboat's Olympic Spirit."

The sculpture building, which used to be created exclusively by area high school students, was opened up to a greater segment of the community last year when the Steamboat Springs Arts Council took over managing the longstanding tradition.

"It really is a great community event that will also have a bit of Olympic spirit in it with a few sculptures resembling Olympic torches, a giant snowflake and one that will have a podium with a skier on it," said Barb King, SSAC marketing and special events coordinator.

Sculptures will be built Feb. 8 in three categories of teams: students, professionals and individual; groups and businesses.

"There's a lot more variety this year," King said. "I think it's really catching on more with all ages and abilities getting involved from different areas in the community."

Recommended Stories For You

Snow sculpture judging will take place on the afternoon of Feb. 9. To make the event a little competitive, there will be “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice” awards presented to the community and business teams.

For area high school students, they will have a chance to win a scholarship given by Maria and Kevin McEvoy with awards to first-, second- and third-place winners.

Because of the difficulty of trucking in snow and closing Lincoln Avenue, the sculptures will be clustered in easy-to-access areas including the Routt County Courthouse lawn, Natural Grocers parking lot and a few at Bob's Conoco station.

"The best time to see the sculptures I would say is Thursday (Feb. 8) evening before they melt," King said.

The city of Steamboat Springs will remove the sculptures by Monday, Feb. 12 so be sure to catch the works of art prior to the end of Winter Carnival festivities.

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