On a beautiful sunny day last week my husband and I and oldest granddaughter, plus some friends, drove up to Breckenridge, Colorado to view the 27th annual International Snow Sculptures.
All photos in this post will enlarge if clicked on, for easier viewing of details.
When we first moved to Colorado four years ago one of the first things we did was to visit the Ice Castle in Breckenridge--see this post--but since that attraction is no longer available, most likely seeing the annual Snow Sculptures will become a tradition for us.
This year, International Snow Sculpture Championship was sponsored by Toyota and the sculpturing began January 24-28. Public viewing took place January 28-February 5th, 2017. The abundant warm Colorado sunshine begins to deteriorate the snow sculptures after they are completed, even if the air temperature is cold, so viewing time is limited.
The inaugural International Snow Sculpture Championships began in 1991 in the ski town of Breckenridge, and over the years the reputation of the event grew and it attracted many competitors from around the world. The applicants submit drawings and the theme of the sculptures they hope to make and the top design teams, consisting of four members for each team, are chosen from those applications.
The chosen team of artists from each country are required to use only hand tools to carve their design from a 20 + ton cube of snow that measures 10 by 10 by 12 feet tall. The teams do not compete for cash prizes, instead they are given first, second and third places medallions, and ribbons. The artists are given a stipend to help cover their travel expenses and are provided with lodging and meals during the competition. It is definitely pride in their artistry, and the thrill of being chosen to compete, that motivates the teams!
The snow sculptures are located in the area around the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, at 150 West Adams Avenue. During the sculpting week visitors to the event can vote for the People's Choice by giving a dollar donation for one vote. The money goes towards supporting the International Snow Sculpture Championships.
USA Breckenridge sculpture was entitled "Life Saver," and depicts the National Ski Patrol, first established in 1938. It won the "Kids Choice Award" from votes from children who came to see the exhibit.
Mexico -- Xiuhmolpilli -- The Prehispanic Century
Team Sweden won the Silver Medal with their "4(Ever) Wheels Reflection." This sculpture depicted two cars tied together, and expression of both freedom and dependency.
Turkey -- Wormholes of the Universe
USA Loveland -- Square Root
Team Mongolia-Erdene won the Bronze Medal for "We are One Family." This sculpture reflected the idea of animals coexisting with humans and nature. This sculpture also tied with Mongolian-Tserendash sculpture below.
The second tie "Artist Choice" winner was this sculpture entitled "Before It's Too Late, Protect Earth From Today." This reflected the idea that protection of the earth and its animals are in our hands. This snow sculpture also won the "People's Choice" award from votes from visitors to the exhibit.
Great Britain -- Spiritual Beasts of the North Wind
USA- Vermont -- (What's Your) Sine Wave
Finland -- The Swan of Tuonela
Team China won the Gold Medal with their sculpture entitled "Mermaid" that depicted a mermaid swimming underwater among fish.
USA - Wisconsin -- Transcendence
Germany -- Process of Adaptation
Iceland --Ancestry in Ice
India-Callisto -- The Making
Italy -- Stop!
This sculpture of a Snow Cat Truck was built as an extra non judged sculpture by the staff for children to go inside and slide down a snow slide. Obviously, this was our granddaughter's favorite sculpture of all!
I enjoyed seeing all the sculptures and could not pick one favorite, although I thought quite a few were exceptional. Did you see one that you particularly liked?
After viewing the International Snow Sculptures we had lunch in town with our friends before we returned home. Breckenridge is a pretty town to visit any time of the year, and you can see more about it on my blog on this post when we visited it for the first time, or when we visited with relatives in the summer and went down the alpine slide and hiked on one of the mountain tops on this post, or when we went for a sleigh ride on this post, or this past summer when we again visited the town with relatives and I also met a fellow blogger who lives in Breckenridge. As you can see, we love Breckenridge!
I'm still editing photos from the Princess Cruise to Western Mexico that we recently returned from--hope to show you some photos from that trip on my next post.
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