ROCKFORD — The 37th annual Snow Sculpting Competition returned to Sinnissippi Park in Rockford this weekend, bringing hundreds from across the state to compete and watch the competition.
According to Event Director Kellie Olivencia, 26 teams took part in this year's competition, including 13 high schools competing in a separate division.
Keith Country Day School won the High School division for their sculpture “Bee-Nice”. Following behind them was Rockford Christian High School in 2nd place and Byron High School in 3rd.
Lacie Delaney, a student at Keith Country Day School, says they were thrilled to get another opportunity to compete this year.
"We didn't expect to get three awards, especially since we got 2nd place last year," Delaney says. "It feels really rewarding after all the work that we put in."
Delaney’s teammate, Hadley Slawson, says they plan to compete again next year and will be taking new skills along with them.
"Honestly taking stuff from the state team is really helpful," Slawson says. "We incorporated ice in our sculpture as ice wings for bees and we actually got the idea for that from a state team."
Some of those competing were concerned that the weather wouldn't be cold enough to prevent the snow from melting prior to judging.
Thankfully, the sculptures remained intact which came as a surprise to many, including the Windy City Snowmen, who took 1st place in the State Division, for their sculpture “Don't Take the Bait”.
"We've been in weather like this with international teams, guys from Germany, Russia, and China," said Kim McCombs, a member of the Windy City Snowmen. "Out of 15 pieces, five fell. "With this group, it's a state event, we got high schools, and nobody fell."
Plans for next year's snow sculpting competition are already underway. If you are interested in competing in the 38th annual competition, contact the Rockford Park District for more information.