“Big Chill” state snow sculpting competition held in Racine

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RACINE -- "The BigChill" annual snow sculpting event took place this weekend in downtown Racine, and this was the 22nd year of the competition.

17 of Wisconsin's best two-person snow sculpting teams created art out of snow in Racine's Monument Square, and were competing for cash prizes, as well as the title of Wisconsin State Snow Sculpting Champions. The winning team advances to the U.S. National Competition in Lake Geneva in February 2013.

Snow sculpting got underway Friday at 4:00 p.m. and the sculptures were carved out of six by six by eight foot blocks of snow, which the carvers worked on throughout the weekend. 12 local and regional ice carvers sculpted creations out of 300 pound blocks of ice along Main and 6th streets on Saturday.

Voting began at 3:00 p.m. Saturday and went through 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Winners were announced at 2:00 p.m. Sunday. "Lazy Bones" created by Neal Vogt and Jon Dietz was the winning design. Click here to see renderings of all of the designs.

This event was free to the public, and also an opportunity to meet the Door County Sled Dogs!

Keith Queoff and his father Tom created a work of art so sturdy, you could sit in it! "It's pretty inviting to sit in. It's pretty sturdy. It's like a big chair I guess," Keith Queoff said. Keith says a lot of work goes into making sure everything is tailored to perfection. "If you don't have the balance quite right, it could tumble in a hurry, and I know we've definitely seen that in competitions before - a piece will take a fall on the last day, especially if it gets too warm out," Keith said.

Several spectators came out to see the finished products. "It's just so fascinating what you can do with this snow, and all the different tools that they use to sculpt them," Karen Ritzman said.

The competition was pushed back one week due to warm temperatures and lack of snowfall. The sculptures can be seen along Main and 6th streets in downtown Racine.