No snow? Snow problem.
A winter that has, thus far, been underachieving in the snow-making department has not stopped this year’s Rockford snow sculpting competition from getting underway. With some help, sculptures called “Oh My Pumpy Umpy Umkin” and “Bad Idea” will be created with man made snow.
Many of the participating sculptors say the man-made show is actually not a bad thing.
“It’s just wonderful snow. Man made snow is just about the best snow you can get, because it is so even and it packs so compactly. It’s a lot like carving florist foam,” says George Harnish, a member of last year’s winning sculpting team.
This is the 30th year for the event, one that many sculptors believe provides a great opportunity for people of all ages to get out and see what’s happening.
“I just think it’s really exciting that so many different people can get involved. It doesn’t really matter how old you are or how young you are. I mean, the high schoolers are out here. I have friends that have really little kids, they’re going to bring them out,” says first time participant Jamie Scott.
Nearly 70,000 visitors view the sculptures each year as teams from around the state compete to represent Illinois in the US Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition. There is even a high school competition for local schools to participate in.
One sculptor says the visitors are a large reason why the event is so enjoyable for her.
“Last year, when we participated, I was blown away by the amount of people that drive through and the support that we had with the community,” sculptor Shellie Zuroske says.
And, to make things even more fun for the public, each person is allowed to cast their own vote for the People’s Choice Award on Saturday morning at the awards ceremony.
The event is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Sinnissippi Park from sunrise to 10:30 PM, and the awards ceremony is going to be held on Saturday morning and afternoon.