Snow Sculpting Competition at Sinnissippi Park Jan. 14-17

Staff Report

Rockford’s Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. Second St., will host the 29th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition Jan. 14-17.

The right amount of snow fell just in time for this free, family-friendly event to take place.

Typically, more than 40,000 visitors attend the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition to admire massive works of snow art.

We encourage people to drive — or, if weather permits, walk — through the park to view the one-of-a-kind snow sculptures and support the teams,” said Rockford Park District Events & Recreation Projects Manager John Beck.

Twelve teams from Illinois will compete, with the winner advancing to the 2016 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. 

One exhibition team (the winner of last year’s Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition, and competing in this year’s U.S. Nationals in Lake Geneva) will also carve a sculpture.

Fifteen area high school teams will participate in the High School Division. The High School Division competition will be Jan. 15-17. High school teams begin sculpting at noon, Jan. 15.

State teams will begin sculpting at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 14. Sculpting will end at 10 a.m., Jan. 17, at which time judging will occur.

The public is encouraged to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award between 8:30 and 11 a.m., Jan. 17. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the Sinnissippi Park Maintenance Building.

For more information, and to view sculpting progression, visit

About the competition

Three people make up a state team, and high school teams have four people. The sculptors may not use any power tools or pre-fabricated molds. Teams use axes, machetes, water buckets, shovels, ice chisels and homemade scraping tools. Each team is assigned (by lottery) a block of snow that is 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 10 feet high. Finished pieces may not expand beyond 12 feet in diameter, but height is unlimited. High school blocks are 4 feet wide, 4 feet long, and 6 feet high.

Viewing information

Sinnissippi Park is open to the public for sculpture viewing while weather permits. Viewing hours are daily from sunrise until 11 p.m. There is no admission fee, but donations are welcome. You may drive or walk through the park. Visitors are encouraged to take the time to walk through to maximize their experience and allow them to view the sculptures from all sides. Limited parking is available at Sinnissippi Park. Additional parking is available at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, just west of Sinnissippi Park across North Second Street.

From the Jan. 14-20, 2015, issue

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