17th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting event set for mid-January

17th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting event set for mid-January


Organizers of the 17th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition are hoping for at least three inches of snow to build the 17 state blocks, the 14 high school blocks, and up to three international size blocks of snow for the Jan. 15-18, 2003 event in Sinnissippi Park, along Highway 251.

The three-person state and international teams work 3-1/2 days on a two-ton, 6 foot by 6 foot by 10 foot block of snow to create frozen works of art, while the four-person high school teams work 2-1/2 days on a 4 foot by 4 foot by 6 foot block of snow. The sculptors cannot use power tools or props other than the snow to hold up the pieces.

Following is a list of state team captains and the title and/or description of their creations:

Michael Bihlmaier, Marengo, “The Whale’s Tale” (a whaler, a whale’s tale, all coming out of a book)

Lynden Bute, Sycamore, “Imagination” (five acrobats)

K. Dyer, Rockford, “Snow Gnome”

Fred Gardner, Caledonia, “Early Snow Sculpting” (a caveman sculpting)

Jack Gerard, Pontiac, “Still Soaring” (American eagle and flag)

Peter Hermann, Oak Park, “Genesis” (hands holding a couple and the dove of peace overhead)

Curt Knipprath, Machesney Park, “Dinner Cruise” (a sea serpent crunching a boat)

Joseph Kordash, Rockford, “Don’t Feed the Animal” (a three-headed dog)

Megan McKinney, Rockton, “The Hatchling” (a dragon hatching from an egg)

Jeff Nuckles, Aurora, “Arrrgh, Matey!” (two pirates digging for treasure)

Robert Pomykala, Belvidere, “Wallowing Walruses”

Grant Rundblade, Rockford, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Cindy Schwartz, Rockford, “Night Watch” (troll night watchman)

Gary Simon, Belvidere, “The Kiss” (two frogs kissing)

Andrew Skupien, Loves Park, “Hagar the Horrible” (Sunday comics character)

Svenhard Skupien, Rockford, “Progress” (loss of local industrial jobs)

Kyle Wolfe, Rockford, “Improb” (characters from Monsters,Inc.)

The defending state champions, the team of Randy Tackett, Bill Brown, and George Harnish, all of Rockford, will be carving “Sea Turtles.” Two international snow sculpting teams are also expected to demonstrate the art of sculpting snow. They are from Argentina and Morocco.

Spectators are welcome to attend. There is no admission charge, and the sculptures are lit for night viewing and sculpting work. Major sponsors of the event include Clock Tower Resort, h.c. Johnson Press, Rockford Park District, SwedishAmerican Health System, and WIFR-TV. Supporting sponsors include Area Erectors, City of Rockford, Coca-Cola, Creative Enterprises, Greater Rockford Airport, Illinois Arts Council, and Riverside Bagel Cafe.

The 14 high school competitors include Auburn (Lullaby), Belvidere (Spellbound), Boylan (The Northern Lights: A Conspiracy Theory), Christian Life (Under Safe Wings), East (Hairy Potter), Guilford (Brett Favre), Harlem (Monkeying Around), Hononegah (Arctic Slides), Jefferson (Inspiring Spirit), Keith (Arise), Lutheran (Innocent Gone Bad), Marengo (Buddha on the Half Shell), Rochelle (Igloo Ignorance), and Rockford Christian (Spring Daydreams).

For more information about the annual state competition, call the Rockford Park District at (815) 987-8800.

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