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Bringing snow to life – Breck’s Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

Breckenridge will host the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships January 27–31.

Celebrating 25 years, the friendly, frosty competition draws teams from around the world to carve 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of snow into self-standing masterpieces in just 65 hours. The kicker: no power tools are allowed. Among the 16 teams from 10 countries, a local crew will carve and sculpt for bragging rights.

Team USA-Colorado/Breckenridge member Tom Day shares what it takes to create a winning piece:

Carl Scofield Ice Sculpture
Photo courtesy Carl Scofield / GoBreck

Q: What’s Team Breck’s theme this year?
A: This year is the 25th anniversary of the international competition, so that is what has driven our piece.

Q: Inspiration behind this year’s design?
A: Carving is what has been our inspiration this year. We are doing a piece with Geppetto from “Pinocchio” that will be 14 feet tall sitting in a chair carving the logo for the competition in 3-D with Pinocchio laying on the ground half finished.

Q: What goes into an award-winning sculpture?
A: Originality, design, technical use of the material, how well the team works together and the quality of the finished product are all factors in the judging of the piece.

Q: What are the most unusual or creative sculpting tools you’ve called on?
A: We use a 40-foot-long 1/16-inch cable with rivet on it and a handle on each end to start with. We will have two sculptors on either side sawing back and forth to remove the largest parts. Then we use floor scrapers to do most of the shaping. Then we use nailer plates for trusses on a house in various shapes to sand down the piece. We finish with cheese graters and sure form tools.

Snow SculptingQ: What do you want your team’s sculpture to say to audiences?
A: This year’s piece is more of a commemorative piece on carving and meant to be whimsical and fun, provoking people to think of the story of “Pinocchio,” but having the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships logo and the competition as the focal point.

Q: Something guests probably don’t know about the Snow Sculpture Championships is…
A: There are no power tools allowed. Many people think we use chain saws, etc. There is a four-person team maximum and there cannot be any supports or armatures inside the piece.

Event details:

Snow Sculptures at Breck


– Lisa Pogue

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