(Last Updated On: October 25, 2016)

Take twenty tons of snow: pack it into a 10 ft wide x 10 ft long x 12 ft high block of snow.  Check.  Add talented sculpture artists on 15 teams representing 12 different countries.   Check.  Let the artists work for five days, using only hand tools, to create stunning masterpieces representing their personal vision mixed with their country’s culture.  Double check.  The end result is the best use of snow other than flying down a mountain on skis or boards at Breckenridge Ski Resort.  It is time for the 22ndAnnual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championship.

Teams start digging in. Photo by Carl Scofield 

Get ready for the transformation! Photo by Carl Scofield









Since 1991, this international event has drawn artists and spectators from across the world.   This year’s event features teams representing Australia, Canada, Spain, China, Finland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Mexico, Switzerland and the United States (with four entries, each representing Alaska, Colorado, Idaho and Wisconsin).  The artists begin sculpting on Tuesday, Jan. 24th, and must finish by 10:00am on Saturday morning, Jan. 28th.

Here are some insider tips on viewing the event:

  1.  It’s FREE!  Yep, that’s right – come one, come all, you can watch the artists in action and there is no charge.  Friday night the artists are allowed to sculpt all night.  Walk between the sculptures and experience the friendly camaraderie as the race is on to finish each of these stunning works of art.
  2. The artists love to talk with the public while they work.  They’ve even been known to unwrap their models, after they’ve already packed up for the day, to show spectators what their finished creation will look like.  Now that’s dedication.
  3. It’s a family friendly event, and it’s easy to get around town.  The Town of Breckenridge has a Free Ride busy system that provides free public transportation throughout the town from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. daily.  The closest bus stop to Event Headquarters is the F-Lot, which is serviced by most bus routes.  And since its winter, remember to dress warmly and with high traction shoes to make the most of your visit to the High Country.
  4. It’s not day or night; it’s day AND night:  These sculptures are beautiful, standing in the crisp, pristine mountain air, with the rays of the sun illuminating their delicate details.  But wait, there’s more: come back and see them again in the evening.  At night, the sculptures are lit up with lighting that encompasses all the colors of the rainbow.  The result is truly spectacular.

    Photo by Carl Scofield

  5. It lasts until Feb 5th, weather cooperating.  If you can’t make it to Breckenridge during the week of January 23rd, no worries.   With a little help from Mother Nature, the sculptures will be left on display until Sunday evening, Feb. 5th.

So, get your inner Michelangelo in gear and head to Breckenridge for this amazing event.  It’s snow-tacular!

By, JeniseJ