If you are one of those people who keeps wondering how Egyptians manage to erect the pyramids, you might want to visit Breckenridge, Colo., during the International Snow Sculpture Competition. Every year, 16 teams of four snow artists from all over the world visit the heart of the Rocky Mountains to build a series of magnificent artworks that seem to have been drawn in the air, or produced with a 3-D printer, only because they look too perfect to be real. Last year, the winner of the competition, the German Team’s minimalist square architecture left the audience speechless, as it aimed at making snow float against gravity.
Artists are chosen by the Snow Sculpture Organizing Committee, which carefully reviews each team’s artistic proposal. The selected teams then undertake an extremely intricate construction process. For those who (like me) can’t even manage to build a sand castle, there is always the option to volunteer. At the beginning of the sculpting week, Breckenridge Ski Resort drops 25-ton blocks of snow at each team’s station, which are then transferred into concrete molds. And here is when you come into play: a group of volunteers, allegedly known as “snow stompers” climb into the block and stomp on it to pack it down.
Working continuously for almost a week, day and night, artists can only use hand tools. So no power tools, no drill, saw, no planer. The viewing week starts on January 26 and goes until January 31, when the winning teams are announced. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite one after your visit. There are no monetary prizes for the winning teams, only glory.
- Around 30,000 people attend.
- The event is free and open to the public. On Saturday, January 28th, you’ll be required to have a free timed entry reservation between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm.
- If you can never have enough of cold temperatures and cozy sweaters, here’s our Fifty Grande list of the best places to go skiing in the US. And here is our guide to Colorado.
What is the closest airport to the International Snow Sculpture Competition?
The closest airport to the International Snow Sculpture Competition is Denver International Airport, which is 101 miles away. There are free shuttles from the airport to Breckenridge.
Is the Festival family-friendly?
Yes, kids will love this event.
Can my dog come with me?
Of course. However, be aware of possible loud noises, flash lights, and crowds.