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2020 International Snow Sculpture Championships

The winners of the 2020 International Snow Sculpture Championships have been announced after 16 teams from around the world hand-carved massive snow blocks into intricate works of arts.

Mexico took the 1st place prize for the second year in a row with their piece called “Greed.” The team from Great Britain took the silver with their cute k9 introduction piece titled “Nice to Meet You.” And the third-place spot was awarded to an American team from Wisconsin for their sculpture titled “Duality of the Soul.”

Coming to see the snow sculptures in Breckenridge is truly an inspiring experience. Teams from across the globe spend countless hours planning their design and then skillfully sculpting those designs out of a huge, 25-ton block of snow. Artists are only allowed to utilize hand tools and have only 5 days (96 hours total) to create these stunning pieces of art. The result is a breathtaking temporary outdoor art gallery in Downtown Breckenridge.

The creation of these sculptures is complicated by the weather with colder temperatures keeping the blocks of snow more solid for the sculptures to work with. Sometimes the weather warms, creating an unstable medium for these sculptures. Artists employ techniques to create sculptures that are more intricate and appear to be more fragile. Judges will award the artists for these efforts, however if artists make the sculptures too fragile, they are more susceptible to falling if the temperature swings up. It’s always heartbreaking to watch as a sculpture tumbles to ground after a slight mistake in the carving is made or the sun bakes the snow to its breaking point.

After the 5 days of sculpting, many of the artists working through the night when the snow is more stable, the art pieces are revealed, and onlookers descend on the Town of Breckenridge. The sculptures are on display for 5 days and nights. While the sunny days make for great viewing, when the sun goes down the sculptures are illuminated with colorful lights and glow green, purple, pink, and blue creating a stunning display.

Since its inception 30 years ago, this event has grown to be one of the Town’s premier events. After 30 years strait of hosting the event, the event will take a one-year hiatus while the town undertakes the construction of a parking structure in the area where the event is held every year. Only one sculpture will be crafted in 2021 titled “World Peace.” The event planners expect to return to hosting the full-fledged event in 2022.

Check out our gallery that features images of each sculpture and let us know which one is your favorite!