Winners named in Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition

The Vikings in Black team of Sven Skupien, Bjorn Skupien and Thorfinn Skupien from Rockford won the 28th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition with their sculpture titled “The Dragon Whisperer.” The winning team was honored at the competition’s awards ceremony Saturday, Jan. 18, at Sinnissippi Park in Rockford, and will advance to the 2015 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wis. Twelve state teams, 15 high school teams and one exhibition team (the winner of last year’s Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition) participated in the Jan. 16-18 event. For further information about the awards, visit www.rockrivertimes.com. (Photo courtesy of the Rockford Park District. Taken by Jake Swenson.)

The Vikings in Black team of Sven Skupien, Bjorn Skupien and Thorfinn Skupien from Rockford won the 28th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition with their sculpture titled “The Dragon Whisperer.” The winning team was honored at the competition’s awards ceremony Saturday, Jan. 18, at Sinnissippi Park in Rockford, and will advance to the 2015 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wis. Twelve state teams, 15 high school teams and one exhibition team (the winner of last year’s Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition) participated in the Jan. 16-18 event. (Photo courtesy of the Rockford Park District. Taken by Jake Swenson.)

Online Staff Report

The Vikings in Black team of Sven Skupien, Bjorn Skupien and Thorfinn Skupien from Rockford won the 28th Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition with their sculpture titled “The Dragon Whisperer.”

The winning team was honored at the competition’s awards ceremony Saturday, Jan. 18, at Sinnissippi Park in Rockford, and will advance to the 2015 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wis.

Twelve state teams, 15 high school teams and one exhibition team (the winner of last year’s Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition) participated in the Jan. 16-18 event.

Other awards included the following:

Second Place — Mayor’s Award: “Take Me to Your Leader,” sculpted by Frosted Flakes team composed of Steve Larson, Bruce Quast and Michael Rathbun.

Third Place — Rockford Park District Award: “Ents Go Marching,” sculpted by Slacktastic 4 composed of Andy Skupien, Nathaniel Branch and Jared Corey.

People’s Choice Award: “Get Off My Lawn!,” sculpted by Whippersnappers team composed of Brett Calomino, Sean Heinekamp and Clayton Weiss.

Committee’s Choice Award — Patricia “Pat” Hayes Parks Award: “Take Me to Your Leader,” sculpted by Frosted Flakes team composed of Steve Larson, Bruce Quast and Michael Rathbun.

High School Division awards

First Place — “Hidden Power,” sculpted by Rockford Christian High School, composed of Erik Dingus, Josh Keske, Hannah Menge, and Abi Sitzman. Adviser: Russ Menge.

Second Place — “Mother Dearest,” sculpted by Byron High School, composed of Kylee Arnold, Erin Hays, Miles Lindholtz and Cassidy Malk. Adviser: Kathy Driscoll.

Third Place — “Ice Gator,” sculpted by Belvidere North High School, composed of Hayley Beck, Jesse Harris, Joelle Maish and Alex Palka. Adviser: Edith Obenchain.

Linda K. White Spirit Award — “Mother Dearest,” sculpted by Byron High School, composed of Kylee Arnold, Erin Hays, Miles Lindholtz and Cassidy Malk. Adviser: Kathy Driscoll.

Committee’s Choice Award — “The Embrace,” sculpted by Marengo Community High School, composed of Carrie Nims, David Oakes, Makayla Pfeiffer and Alexandra Valentine. Adviser: Robert Pomykala.

Artists’ Choice Award — “Hidden Power,” sculpted by Rockford Christian High School, composed of Erik Dingus, Josh Keske, Hannah Menge and Abi Sitzman. Adviser: Russ Menge.

People’s Choice Award — “Ice Gator,” sculpted by Belvidere North High School, composed of Hayley Beck, Jesse Harris, Joelle Maish and Alex Palka. Adviser: Edith Obenchain.

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 top to bottom, 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.

The Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition is hosted by the Rockford Park District, and receives tremendous support from the community through financial and in-kind donations.

Visit www.ilsnowsculpting.com or call the Rockford Park District at (815) 987-8800 for more details.

Posted Jan. 22, 2014

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