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These are not the snowmen you made as a child

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The cold temperatures on the banks of Lake Geneva benefitted the 2011 U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva last week.

Fifteen teams from twelve states competed for First, Second and Third places, as well as, the coveted People's Choice Awards. The event is always held the first week in February. So, if you missed it this year, mark your calendar for next year! The week long event begins with the construction of ten foot snow blocks on Monday and Tuesday. Then at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the teams may begin carving their works of art. Work must be completed by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, when a team of Judges critique the statuesque carvings based upon the criteria of creativity, technique and message.

Also, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, those visiting the event may cast their ballot for their favorite sculpture. Volunteers pass out ballots, which may then be deposited in drop boxes around Riviera Park.

While the week's winterlike temperatures was a bonus to preserving the sculptures, Sunday morning's light snowfall did obscure some of the details of the sculptures.

This year's First Place Award went to "Mercury Racing Pegasus" carved by a Wisconsin team. The carving depicts the mythical creatures racing with them being locked in a deadheat at the finish ribbon.

Second Place and People's Choicw were also garnered by a Wisconsin team for the sculpture for the oceanic depiction of "Davy Jones Locker", which has the pirate seated on his treasure chest overflowing with stash with his shipwrecked boar behind him and an octopus wrapped around it and the rocks, upon which it rests.

An Alaskan Team took home the Third Place Award for its depiction of the "Dance of the Axcagun" depicting three costumed natives performing the dance.

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