February 13, 2015
This bitter cold has locked most of us indoors for the last few days, but last week I was able to take advantage of some winter sun and the nearby Lake Calhoun. While rounding the Northwest corner of the lake, I veered off the trail to investigate an interesting scene – out in the open were a squirrel, a bearded man and a shark.
Turns out it was all part of the 2015 Southwest Journal Snow Sculpture Contest. Teams of three to four took to the lake to turn 4’ x 4’ x 8’ blocks of snow into pieces of art. With ladders, shovels, gardening tools and five hours to work with, the finished pieces are pretty impressive!
Fun Fact: the world’s largest snow sculpture, called “Romantic Feelings,” was 656 feet long and 115 feet tall. Unlike the four team members who carved the Calhoun pieces, 600 sculptures worked together to put complete “Romantic Feelings” for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in 2007.
The art of snow sculpture is truly breathtaking, and there are massive festivals and displays all around the world. Another awesome display this year is the Ice Castle in Eden Prairie, which is one of just four castle locations in the U.S. this year. Many competitions and displays open in December and January, as February’s often freezing temps can ensure the sculptures stay standing for as long as possible. So if we must endure the cold for a few more months, at least we can check out some of these awesome snow creations — even if it means a few more layers and a mild case of frostbite.