The World Snow Sculpting Championship Comes to Stillwater

With teams hailing from Finland, Turkey, Argentina, and beyond

Last night we ventured out to Lowell Park in Stillwater, Minnesota, to check out the second annual World Snow Sculpting Championship. Teams flew in from Germany, Argentina, Finland, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Turkey, and across the U.S. to carve, chisel, and shape their larger-than-life sculptures from enormous blocks of snow — but it was a crew from Minnesota that won the coveted blue ribbon.

The first place sculpture, titled “Journey,” was created by House of Thune, a three-person team led by Dusty Thune. “Journey” is a heavy work — a piece about facing crisis after crisis and falling apart at the seams yet finding a way to put yourself back together, each time in a slightly different way.

Another moving piece, “Slaying Our Demons,” by Team Flozen of Florida was dedicated to a dear friend who lost his battle with mental illness; that sculpture won second place.

Other pieces were more abstract (a tower of organically shaped cubes from Team Turkish, the third place winner) or playful (a slobbery dog attacking a bone by Team Jetset from Canada). And some works, like “The Big Four” by Canada’s Atti2ude Club, were so detailed, you had to walk all the way around it to get the full effect of a bison, black bear, moose, and bighorn sheep rounding a mountain of snow blocks.

Also fun: the lumberjack Atlas who greets visitors upon arrival. He was sculpted by Stillwater locals Jon Baller, Curt Cook, and Clare McDonough.

Sunday, January 22, is the last day of the festival, but the sculptures should remain on display through the first week in February, assuming the weather cooperates. A very cool way to spend an afternoon if you ask us! 🥶