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Breckenridge Events: The 31st Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships

Published: January 17, 2022

International Snow Sculptures Breckenridge Another world-renowned Summit County event returns to Breckenridge next week! The 31st Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships (ISSC) begin Monday, January 24th, and run through Wednesday, February 2nd. During this famous event, teams from around the globe descend on Breckenridge to turn 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of snow into stunning works of art.

The International Snow Sculpture Championships have featured giant, intricate carvings of astronauts, Viking kings, majestic animals, abstract designs, and more in previous years.

The competition kicks off on the 1/24 when respective teams begin carving their designs from gigantic bricks of manmade snow. The sculpting process is no easy feat, taking approximately 96 hours across five days to complete. Artists are only allowed to use hand tools – no power tools allowed! Some tools include vegetable peelers, chicken wire, small saws, and more.

The sculping portion of the event ends Friday, January 28th. Historic downtown Breckenridge will be transformed into a temporary outdoor art gallery of magnificent snow behemoths ready for public viewing by Friday night!

The event’s viewing portion takes place from Friday (1/28) – Wednesday (2/2). Like most Breckenridge festivities, attendance is free and family-friendly. However, reservations are required if you plan to attend Saturday (1/29) between 10 AM and 4 PM. The snow sculptures will be located in the Tiger Dredge Lot surrounding the Riverwalk Center (150 West Adams Avenue). Along with the sculptures, attendees can look forward to a light show, making nighttime viewing especially magical!

This year, Breckenridge will host teams from Ecuador, Germany, Mexico, and multiple USA teams (including Breckenridge, New York, and Wisconsin). Teams will compete for first, second, and third place, along with the People’s Choice and Artists’ Choice Awards. Spectators can vote for their favorite sculptures in the People’s Choice Award online at Voting starts 1/26 at noon and ends 1/29 at 2 PM.

As with most Summit County events, there is a fun community involvement element to the Snow Sculpture Championships. The pre-carved blocks of snow are formed with the help of local volunteers who sign up for snow-stomping: each year, locals can choose to participate by registering as a snow stomper on the Breckenridge Tourism Office’s website. Volunteering entails stomping around on top of the bricks as snow is continuously dumped onto them until a hard-packed, 12-foot block is formed. Volunteers typically receive some SWAG for their participation (and to a small extent, they can say they helped form the snow sculptures)!

The International Snow Sculpture Championships are yet another one-of-a-kind event that makes life in Summit County so unique. We hope you enjoy this otherworldly event as much as we do! For more information on the ISSC and other local events in Summit County, contact Real Estate of the Summit today.


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