Dazzling Displays of Snow – Dubuque’s Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival

by Teri Link

Snow sculpture is an artform similar to sand sculpture or ice sculpture in that it is mostly practiced outdoors and often in full view of spectators, giving it a likeness to performance art. There are a number of annual snow sculpting events that take place across the world in locations such as China, Japan, Russia, Canada, and the United States.

The longest running festival is one that still takes place annually in St. Paul, MN, which began in 1886 and continues to this day. Although not quite as old as the one in St. Paul, our own city of Dubuque also hosts an annual snow sculpting event that is much loved and looked forward to all year long.

Dubuque’s Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival will take place Thursday, February 9th through Sunday, February 12th. The location is picturesque Washington Park in downtown Dubuque and it’s the only event of its kind in Iowa that is sanctioned by WinterFun, Inc., which oversees the regional and national competitions. The winner of our local competition will then be qualified to represent the State of Iowa in the 2024 National Championships held in Lake Geneva, WI next February.

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