Addition through subtraction


Work begins at the 2007 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Championships in Lake Geneva, Wis.

Second day at the 2007 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Championships in Lake Geneva, Wis. 

By carefully removing selected bits of ice, sculptors transform piles of snow into fabulous works of art

(Published Jan. 26, 2007, 8:38 a.m.)

Later this week a series of 10-foot-high cylinders, each containing three tons of snow, will begin to appear around the fountain in front of the Riviera boathouse in downtown Lake Geneva.

By next weekend, 15 three-person teams from as far away as Alaska will compete in the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship to transform the mounds of snow into amazing works of art.

The event is truly a love affair for the participants as the teams labor for three days and nights in harsh temperatures to compete in a competition offering glory and

bragging rights. The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship offers no cash prizes, only the chance to be proclaimed the best by your peers.

Although there has been snow on the ground for the last few weeks, Mother Nature can always use a little help.

Lake Geneva officials, who have more than a decade of experience in the snow-sculpting business, are able to ensure a successful contest whether the area is knee deep in or completely absent of snow. All of the snow used in the competition is produced locally at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa's Mountain Top ski facility.

"The ability to create our own snow is the key to producing a quality competition," said George F. Hennerley, executive vice president of the Lake Geneva Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "As long as the temperature dips below freezing at night, Grand Geneva is able to create the 45 tons of snow needed for the contest. Additionally, the sculptors prefer artificial snow due to its melting point, 'carve-ability' and lack of foreign objects."

"Competing in the national championship is an amazing challenge and one of the most unique experiences I've ever had as a sculptor," said championship snow sculptor David Andrews of Milwaukee. Team Wisconsin, whose beautifully detailed sculpture "Need Sum Lovin' 2," depicting a giraffe nuzzling her baby, was chosen as the top finisher in last year's contest.

Approximately 60,000 people visited Lake Geneva to see the 2006 snow sculpting competition and to enjoy Winterfest activities.

Schedule

Wednesday, Jan. 31-Sunday, Feb. 4

Snow sculpting for the United States Snow Sculpting Tournament at the Riveria on Lake Geneva's lakefront. Prizes awarded

Saturday, Feb. 3

All day-helicopter rides, hay rides, Meltdown Sale where area merchants offer great sales and the Catch a Snowflake Contest.

Riviera Ballroom (free admission)

All day-Buy raffle tickets for two round-trip tickets with Midwest Airlines.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.-Food, drink, sponsor information booths and children's entertainment.

10:15 a.m.-One mile, 5k and 10k walk/run starting at Library Park

11 a.m.-The WOZ music, magic and more

Noon-Tom Stanfield sing-a-longs

Noon-2 p.m.-People's Choice Award balloting

1 p.m.-The WOZ music, magic and more

2 p.m.-Tom Stanfield sing-a-longs

3 p.m.-United States National Snow Sculpting Awards Presentation

Sunday, Feb. 4

All day-helicopter rides, hay rides, Meltdown Sale where area merchants offer great sales and the Catch a Snowflake Contest.

Riviera Ballroom (free admission)

All day-Buy raffle tickets for two round-trip tickets with Midwest Airlines.

10 a.m.-3 p.m.-Food, drink, sponsor information booths bluegrass and country entertainment

11 a.m.-Just Pickin' country band

Noon-Ground Speed Bluegrass Band

1 p.m.-Just Pickin' country band

2 p.m.-Ground Speed Bluegrass Bank

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