When the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down, the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce searched for ideas to help save local businesses and fuel growth during and after the shutdown. As luck would have it, Winter Fun LLC, was looking for a city to host a snow sculpting contest at the very same time.

Winter Fun selected Stillwater and the community has responded. Today the World Snow Sculpting Championship attracts competitors from all over the world and 50,000+ spectators. The competition just wrapped up with thousands of dollars awarded to the winning teams.

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“The World Snow Sculpting Championship isn't just an event; it's a celebration of creativity, a gathering of passionate individuals from around the world, and a testament to the power of community.”

The 2024 event started on Wednesday, January 17th with the introduction of 12 Snow Sculpting teams from around the world. As the competitors worked on their massive projects, the public was invited to various events around town. The event wrapped on Saturday and the winning teams were awarded thousands of dollars prize money. See the winners below.

1st Place: Canada QC, Team Fjordwitches

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Name of Sculpture: FJCOWRD, La vachoune de mer, A milky sea monster
Prize: $4,000

2nd Place: Turkey, Team Izmit

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Name of Sculpture: Crack
Prize: $2,000

3rd Place: USA, Team North Dakota

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Name of Sculpture: The Solace of Sleep
Prize: $1,000

People’s Choice: Mexico, Team Colima

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Name of Sculpture: Pok-Ta-Pok: The Ball Game
Prize: $1,000

Organizers were grateful for everyone involved in the event. "A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated and offered support for World Snow Sculpting Championship in Stillwater, Minnesota, this weekend! Although the event celebrations have ended, and our fantastic teams are heading home, the sculptures will continue to be showcased, weather permitting. Keep an eye out for updates by following the World Snow Sculpting Championship."

Experience the Woods by Candlelight at These 18 Minnesota Parks

State parks across the state of Minnesota are hosting candlelit winter hikes that are only lit by candlelight. It's an amazing new way to experience Minnesota's nature. All of the events are free but you will need a state park pass for your car.

Gallery Credit: Carly Ross