Breckenridge in winter is all about snow and the fun you can have with it, but not just about sliding on it. Check out what can be made from snow when the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships come to this mountain town Jan. 25-30. A viewing week follows from Jan. 30-Feb. 6.
"The Breckenridge snow sculpture contest offers the opportunity to witness living sculptures being made, fleeting works of art that don't stick around," Rob Neyland, one of the event's founders, pointed out. "That's the joy of it. It's the transitory nature of the art form that makes it so special."
Sixteen teams from around the world were invited to compete representing nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada (three teams), China, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, and U.S. teams, which includes those from Alaska, Colorado (Breckenridge and Loveland), Vermont, and two from Wisconsin. New this year is an eco-friendly LED lighting system that will add to the artistry with color washes during viewing week.
Four-person teams are assigned 12-foot tall, 20-ton blocks of machine-made Colorado snow. Artists have 65 intense hours of work without the use of power tools, internal support structures, or colorants. It's just the sculptors and hand tools creating the amazing works of art.
The sculpting begins with a shotgun start and finishes with teams working through the night, hand-carving anything from enormous pieces of whimsy to powerful social commentary.
Snow carving in Breckenridge began as a local pastime during the town's winter carnival - Ullr Fest - in the late 1960s. The event now draws on its own more than 30,000 people annually.
Combine a little skiing and riding with time around town viewing snow sculptures. Four people lift and lodging packages from $110 per person, per night, based on quad occupancy, are available through Feb. 10 by following the link below.