Winter Fun at The Big Chill and Wisconsin State Snow Sculpting CompetitionJan 22, 2015 03:55PM ● By Melissa Schwartz
This January, we headed to Racine to experience a unique piece of winter fun at The Big Chill for the first time. The annual event extends over three days with snow sculpting starting on Friday and ending in the morning on Sunday. Teams sculpt through the night—so the sculptors are at it when many of us are warm in our beds!
All teams start with a 30,000 lb 6’ x 6’ x 10’ block of snow similar to the one below (minus the designs). From that block, sculptors craft magical designs like flowers, dragons, sea creatures, people, butterflies and even the “Scrubbing Bubbles” and “Mukluks.” The resulting creations are quite stunning.
The weather can provide extra hurdles for the artists. If the temperature is too warm or if there is rain, sculpting can be quite a challenge. While some of us may have been a little perturbed by the string of low temperatures earlier this month, they actually were ideal for the artists. Additionally, temperatures below freezing mean that sculptures can stay around a bit for visitors to admire.
The winning team this year sculpted one of my favorite snow sculptures, “Block Party” featuring interlocking people. I especially love this sculpture because it ties in so well with another Racine family event and huge block party, Party on the Pavement. A community coming together—just beautiful!
Snowboarding, Ice Sculpting, and More Winter Fun
The Big Chill also featured other events throughout the weekend. Saturday featured ice carving demonstrations and we were able to view the creations on a stroll through Racine on Sunday. Sled dogs also delighted children on Saturday.
Downtown Rail Jam added an extra splash of winter action to the event. A mobile ramp ready for skiing and snowboarding was set up adjacent to the snow sculpting venue. Open skiing and snowboarding times afforded the public an opportunity to enjoy lively winter sports. Competitions and demonstrations in snowboarding and skiing wowed visitors throughout the weekend. The little ones were also able to get in on the action with a family sledding hill.
The Big Chill Inspires Families to Get Outdoors
The Big Chill is definitely one to add to your winter itinerary. We were so impressed by the craftsmanship of the snow sculptures that we had to circle around a few times! Sometimes it can be difficult to find motivation to leave the home during the winter. For us, The Big Chill was a great excuse to get some fresh air, stretch out our legs and observe some fantastic snow creations!
Thank you to Real Racine for giving us some behind the scenes info about this wonderful event.
Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.