International Snow Sculpture Championships

January 20–29, 2020

Events

Thank you for a great 2019 event! Sign-up to receive updates on next year’s 30th International Snow Sculpture Championships!

During the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships, 16 teams from around the world descend on Breckenridge, Colorado to hand-carve 20-ton blocks of snow into enormous, intricate works of art. Artists are only allowed to use hand tools, creativity and inspiration to bring their ideas to life. No power tools allowed! Teams sculpt countless hours across five days (totaling around 96 hours), resulting in a temporary outdoor art gallery in historic downtown Breckenridge!

This is and has always been a free event open to the general public.

Competition/ Sculpting Days:  January 20-24, 2020

Viewing Days: January 24-29, 2020

The event site will close at 7:00 pm. on January 29 and the Sculptures will be taken down.

2019 International Snow Sculpture Championships Insider’s Guide

2019 ISSC Teams

2019 teams include China (Yan Zhang), China (Wang Haifeng), Ecuador, France, Germany (Agrawarl), Germany (Theil), Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia (Tserendesh), Turkey, USA (Colorado), USA (Breckenridge Colorado), USA (Wisconsin).

2019 International Snow Sculpture Championship winners:

  • Team Mexico won Gold with Cenote Garden
  • Team Germany-Shurtzmann won Silver with Walls with Holes
  • Team Great Britain won Bronze with Hippo Ballet Dancers
  • Team Ecuador won Artists’ Choice with Organic Geometry
  • Team Breckenridge won People’s Choice with Let It Snow

2019 Schedule

Sculpting Week | January 21-25, 2019

All events are free and open to the public.

Watch how the sculptures are built

Sculpting starts: 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 21, 2019

Sculpting ends: 9:00 a.m. Friday, January 25, 2019

Sculpting begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 21st with a cannon start! Sculpting ends on Friday, January 25th at 9:00 a.m. and the judging begins.

Location: Sculpting and Viewing week are held in and around the Riverwalk Center, located in the heart of Breckenridge on South Park
Avenue between Washington Street and Adams Avenue.

Getting to the Sculptures / Parking

 

The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit

Warm-up and immerse yourself in the 29-year history of the International Snow Sculpture Competition.  Located inside the Riverwalk Center, the FirstBank Thaw Lounge will feature a history exhibit, souvenir shop and volunteers to answer any event questions.

Thaw Lounge Hours:
January, 21-23 — 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
January, 22 — 12:0o p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
January 23 — 10:oo a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
January 24 — 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
January 25 — 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Hint: Thursday, January 24 is one of the best times to visit. Artists are preparing to stay up all night to do detail work and the atmosphere is celebratory. Why not spend a night or two and catch the whole weekend? You won’t regret seeing the sculptures evolve and witnessing the awards given out.

People’s Choice Voting

Text to Vote for your favorite sculpture at the event. Text the team name of your pick to (213) 465-7985.
Voting starts Wednesday, January 23 at Noon
Voting ends Saturday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Warm up, Shop Late

Dates: Nightly 1/24-1/27
Viewing the Snow Sculptures at night brings a whole new perspective, but your Breckenridge experience doesn’t have to end there. Stroll Main Street under the twinkling lights and find unique and surprising treasures in the boutiques keeping their doors open late. Thursday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan. 27, we invite you to warm up with in- store activations worth staying for.

More Info

Awards Ceremony | January 25, 2019

All events are free and open to the public.

9:00 a.m – Sculpting Ends and Judging Begins

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  – The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit

6:00 p.m.  – ISSC Award Ceremony

Join us as we celebrate the enormous, intricate works of art created during Sculpting Week.  The awards ceremony will determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists of the International Snow Sculpture Competition.

Awards are judged by technical skill, creativity, expressive impact, and adherence to the original submission.

Additional Awards: Artist’ Choice & People’s Choice
Cast your vote:  People’s Choice Votes can be cast by texting your top pick to (213) 465-7985

7:00 p.m. – Acrobatic Cirque Show

 

7:30 pm – Grand Illumination

You will not want to miss the finished sculptures lit to perfection with an ever-changing and unique lighting display. There will be 10 minutes of white light on the hour and ½ hour

People’s Choice Voting

Text to Vote for your favorite sculpture at the event. Text the team name of your pick to (213) 465-7985.
Voting starts Wednesday, January 23 at Noon
Voting ends Saturday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m.

International Snow Sculpture Scavenger Hunt

Dive deeper into the International Snow Sculptures with the free interactive scavenger hunt from LET’S ROAM. Download the LET’s ROAM app and start exploring.
Cost:  Free
Time:  download and enjoy anytime between January 25-30th
More Info

Warm up, Shop Late

Dates: Nightly 1/24-1/27
Viewing the Snow Sculptures at night brings a whole new perspective, but your Breckenridge experience doesn’t have to end there. Stroll Main Street under the twinkling lights and find unique and surprising treasures in the boutiques keeping their doors open late. Thursday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan. 27, we invite you to warm up with in-store activations worth staying for.

More Info

Viewing Weekend Kickoff | January 26, 2019

All Day  – View the Sculptures

The Sculptures will be on display 24/7 during viewing week.  Visit them during the day to see them pop against the Colorado sky then come back in the evening for fireworks and a lightshow.

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. – The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit

 

People’s Choice Voting

Text to Vote for your favorite sculpture at the event. Text the team name of your pick to (213) 465-7985.
Voting starts Wednesday, January 23 at Noon
Voting ends Saturday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Junior Snow Sculpture Kid’s Experience

Children can enjoy their own pint-sized sculpting experience at the Jr. Snow Sculpture Kid’s Experience.  Each child will get a chance to use hand tools and carve their own creation.
Ages: 9 & up
Location: Main Street Station
Cost: Free
Register: Register by FB messaging the Rocky Mountain Events Facebook page.

6:00 p.m. – Fireworks

Firework show can be viewed from anywhere in town.

 

6:30 p.m. –  Breckenridge Brewery Presents:
Free Concert by El Paso Lasso

El Paso Lasso is an energetic, versatile and loveable cover band (for now, original material soon to come) based out of Breckenridge Colorado!
Location: Riverwalk Center
Cost: Free

International Snow Sculpture Scavenger Hunt

Dive deeper into the International Snow Sculptures with the free interactive scavenger hunt from LET’S ROAM. Download the LET’s ROAM app and start exploring.
Cost:  Free
Time:  download and enjoy anytime between January 25-30th
More Info

Warm up, Shop Late

Dates: Nightly 1/24-1/27
Viewing the Snow Sculptures at night brings a whole new perspective, but your Breckenridge experience doesn’t have to end there. Stroll Main Street under the twinkling lights and find unique and surprising treasures in the boutiques keeping their doors open late. Thursday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan. 27, we invite you to warm up with in- store activations worth staying for.
More Info

Viewing Weekend | JANUARY 25-30, 2019

All events are free and open to the public.

All Day – View the Sculptures

The Sculptures will be on display 24/7 during viewing week.  Visit them during the day to see them pop against the Colorado sky then come back in the evening for fireworks and a lightshow.

Nightly ISSC Lightshow

Dates: Nightly 1/25-1/29
The sculptures will be illuminated from dusk to dawn throughout viewing week.

Warm up, Shop Late

Dates: Nightly 1/24-1/27
Viewing the Snow Sculptures at night brings a whole new perspective, but your Breckenridge experience doesn’t have to end there. Stroll Main Street under the twinkling lights and find unique and surprising treasures in the boutiques keeping their doors open late. Thursday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan. 27, we invite you to warm up with in- store activations worth staying for.

More Info

Sunday, January 27

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. -The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit open inside the Riverwalk Center

 

Monday, January 28

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit open inside the Riverwalk Center

 

Tuesday, January 29

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.- The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit open inside the Riverwalk Center

 

Wednesday, January 30

LAST DAY TO VIEW SCULPTURES
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The FirstBank Thaw Lounge Exhibit open inside the Riverwalk Center

7:00 p.m. – Sculptures taken down
Event site will close and the Sculptures will be taken down.

Get Involved

Volunteer

Technical Week – January 15-18, 2019

Volunteer to create the enormous blocks of snow the artists will use for the competition!  Technical week allows the initial building of the blocks and offers time for the blocks to compact under their own weight prior to being carved. This allows for a more consistent medium, giving the sculptors the ability to execute their gravity-defying designs.

There are limited volunteer opportunities available. Sign up here.

Thank you for your help!

 

FAQ

What are the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships?

A world renown snow sculpting competition where 16 teams from around the world descend on Breckenridge, Colorado to hand-carve 20-ton blocks of snow into enormous, intricate works of art. Artists are only allowed to use hand tools, creativity and inspiration to bring their ideas to life. No power tools allowed! Teams sculpt countless hours across five days (totaling around 96 hours), resulting in a temporary outdoor art gallery in historic downtown Breckenridge!

How much does it cost to see the sculpture event?

Nothing!  The International Snow Sculpture Championships is a free event open to the general public.

Where are the sculptures located?

The Snow Sculptures are located in the area around the Riverwalk Center at 150 West Adams Avenue, Breckenridge, CO 80424.  Event headquarters are in the Riverwalk Center and referred to as the Thaw Lounge + Music.

Where should I park for International Snow Sculpture Championships?

Free Daily Parking:

Free parking is available on Airport Road with Free shuttles running every 15 minutes via tje Yellow Route on the Breck Free Ride from Airport Road.   The closest bus stop to Event Headquarters is F-Lot, which is serviced by most bus routes.

View bus schedule

Free public transportation is available throughout town from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
View town bus routes

Extra Free Parking Saturday & Sunday of ISSC:
Additional FREE parking is available at the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) parking lot off of Airport Road- free transportation to the event from the lot will be provided from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Learn more about how to navigate Breckenridge without a car!

 

Who are the 2019 Teams?

There are 16 snow sculpting teams. The 2019 teams include China (Yan Zhang), China (Wang Haifeng), Ecuador, France, Germany (Agrawarl), Germany (Theil), Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia (Tserendesh), Turkey, USA (Colorado), USA (Breckenridge Colorado), USA (Wisconsin).

How do I vote for People's Choice?

Support your favorite sculpture with the People’s Choice Vote. Throughout sculpting week, simply text the country of your favorite sculpture to vote. More details can be found at each sculpture and in the Thaw Lounge & Music.

Participants can text to vote at (213) 465-7985

Who Won Last Year?

Winners 2018

Team Mongolia (Erdene) won Gold in the 28th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships with “Secret,” a piece that depicted a representation of a secret keepers chest.

    • Team China won Silver with “Thinker”
    • Team USA Wisconsin – Vogt won Bronze with “A Dance Devine”
    • Artists’ Choice went to Mongolia-Tserendash with “Time”
    • Kid’s Choice went to China with “Thinker”
    • People’s Choice went to Mongolia-Erdene with “Secret”

Are dogs allowed?

The International Snow Sculpture Championships is a pet-friendly event. We ask that you help keep it that way by keeping pets on-leash and away from the snow sculptures.

Parking

Where should visitors park to see the event?

Free Daily Parking:

Free parking is available on Airport Road with Free shuttles running every 15 minutes via tje Yellow Route on the Breck Free Ride from Airport Road.   The closest bus stop to Event Headquarters is F-Lot, which is serviced by most bus routes.

View bus schedule

Free public transportation is available throughout town from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
View town bus routes

Extra Free Parking Saturday & Sunday of ISSC:
Additional FREE parking is available at the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) parking lot off of Airport Road- free transportation to the event from the lot will be provided from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Learn more about how to navigate Breckenridge without a car!

 

Where should private charter buses park and drop off/pick up?

The tour buses need to unload/load at F –Lot.

The tour buses will need to park in #1 or #2 spot, which may require the driver to loop around the little island on the south end of F-lot.

Tour buses should  NOT under any circumstances park where the normal bus stops are located. It will be extremely crowded with town bus traffic and lodging shuttle buses.

To load,  it would be best that they have a set time or better yet, the passengers gather and then call the bus, to come get their passengers.

Waiting for very long is not really a good option. If we get more than 2/3 tour buses in there it will be become a big issue.

Where do tour buses go after they unload?

Tour buses are not able to park or linger at the F-Lot.  Once they unload they will need to go find a spot, either Satellite or City Market.

Parking Map

 

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