BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s an art festival that’s bound to get a chilly reception — the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.
“It really is one of the most quintessential events we have here in Breckenridge,” said Town of Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-Dilallo.
This is the 24th year for the festival.
There will be 16 teams from around the globe carving unique sculptures in huge blocks of snow. Those teams are from Catalunya (Spain), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia (2 teams), Russia and USA. Only three teams are coming from within the U.S.- two from Colorado and one from Vermont.
They will turn blocks of snow measuring 10 feet wide by 12 feet tall into works of art.
It all starts with snow made by Breckenridge Ski Area and packed into massive wooden molds.
“This week that we’re in right now is called tech week or build week so basically what we’re doing is building all these blocks. The medium for our artists to come to town next week and sculpt and transform into beautiful pieces of art,” said Dykstra-Dilallo.
The front loaders push snow into a massive snow blower then volunteers stomp it down.
“It’s good exercise,” said volunteer Sharon Schoefield. “We take ownership of this block and that block we just did, it feels great.”
This is the first step in what turns out to be a three week process for the championships.
“We actually do a shotgun start on Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock where they can actually pick up their tools and start sculpting,” said Dykstra-Dilallo.
Over 65 hours artists turn those massive blocks of snow into master works of art.
“We have people from all over the world who share their art with us,” said Dykstra-Dilallo.
Judging is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, with the awards ceremony at 4 p.m. that same day.
Sculptures will remain standing weather permitting until the night of Sunday, February 2.
Visitors are welcome to the free event anytime between Jan. 21 and Feb. 2.