Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that snow is beautiful. And it becomes downright stunning once some of the country’s best snow sculptors get their hands—or chisels!—on it.
You can check out the frozen works of art that result at the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition, a showcase of the best of the best that takes place on the frozen shores of Lake Geneva, Wis., at the end of the month. The competition is part of the town’s annual Winterfest celebration.
Each of the 15 teams receives a block of snow that’s 8 feet across and 9 feet tall, and then it’s up to them to turn it into something amazing. Past entries have included a detailed astronaut monkey, the inner workings of a mechanical turtle, and a menagerie of animals. Visitors can watch the teams work on their masterpieces from Wednesday-Friday, which are then displayed to the public over the weekend. Prizes are presented late Saturday afternoon, including the coveted People’s Choice Award, voted on by observers.
And if watching snow sculpting isn’t quite your outing of choice, Winterfest also features live music, magic shows, kids’ activities, helicopter rides and a chili cook-off (for when you need to warm up). It’s also home to the Human Dog Sled Race for those who have an inner huskie that’s just barking to get out.
It all works together to take advantage of the Midwest’s most divisive season. Because even if you despise the white stuff when it’s messing up your commute or keeping the kids home from school, you won’t be able to resist it when it’s in its most artistic form.
If you go
Winterfest/U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition
Jan. 27-Feb. 4
Lake Geneva, Wis.