The Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships kicked off Tuesday with teams from around the globe hand-carving 20-ton blocks of snow into enormous works of art. Sculptors will work a total of 65 hours to complete their pieces by this Saturday, Jan. 26.
Fifteen teams are set to compete in the 23rd annual International Snow Sculpture Championships, which brings an outdoor art gallery to downtown Breckenridge through Feb. 3.
The selection represents the most diverse field of artists in the event’s 23-year history and includes both past medalists and teams new to the event: Argentina (new), Australia, Baltic-Latvia/Estonia, Canada-Yukon, Catalonia-Spain, China, Ecuador (new), Germany, Great Britain-Wales, Iceland (new), Mexico, Mongolia (new), Singapore (new), USA-Alaska and USA-Breckenridge.
New for 2013, viewers can follow their favorite teams online at BreckConnection.com, where submission sketches are already posted.
Four-person teams are assigned 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of snow, which are built the week prior to the event. The machine-made Colorado snow is ideal for packing due to Breckenridge’s humidity and temperature.
Teams work within a five-day period to create sculptures based upon a pre-submitted and approved sketch. No power tools, internal support structures or colorants may be used to create the snow sculptures. Visit the event website at www.SculptSnow.com.
The awards ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 and sculptures remain on display, weather permitting, until the night of Sunday, Feb. 3. Typically, cold temperatures during the month of January ensure a longer life for the sculptures. Winners receive no money, but recognition throughout the international snow sculpting community.