Meet veteran snow sculptor Hugh McCarron and learn about the preparation, tools, and design work that goes into competing at the national level.
Hugh will also share tips and answer questions for anyone interested in learning how to get started working with snow.
With a few simple household tools and a bucket to pack snow in, you can become a snow sculptor at home, or even join the competition yourself.
This event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcomed.
The 2023 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival will take place Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12, with community festivities on Sunday from 12 to 4 PM.
This free, family-friendly event is produced by the Dubuque Museum of Art in partnership with the City of Dubuque’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Teams of professional, amateur, and collegiate artists sculpt for four days, transforming 288 cubic feet of snow into masterful works of art. The winning team receives a cash prize and is offered the opportunity to represent the state of Iowa at the 2024 U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, WI. A People’s Choice selection is also chosen through online and in-person voting from noon to 4 p.m. following the call for ‘tools down’ on the Sunday of festival weekend.
Birds. food truck will be available for purchase. The community sculpting area will feature themed blocks inspired by Saint-Saëns’ whimsical musical masterpiece “Carnival of the Animals,” in conjunction with Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s spring family concert.
The Dubuque Museum of Art in partnership with the City of Dubuque Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs will host the 6th annual Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Competition and Festival in Dubuque’s downtown Washington Park, February 9-12, 2023.
To prepare for the event, volunteers are needed on Tuesday, Feb. 7 to ‘stomp snow’ in wooden forms to create the blocks of snow that will be carved by sculpting teams throughout the week and by the community during Sunday’s festival activities.
Dates and Times Volunteers Needed:
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 from 8:00 pm to 12:00 pm or 12:30 to 4:30 pm
Wednesday, February 8 will be offered as a back up snow stomping day in case of inclement weather, or if additional work day is needed.
Details About Volunteering:
Two shifts available: 8:00 am-12:00 pm or 1:00-4:00 pm
• 10-12 volunteers are needed per shift.
Volunteer groups from local businesses, service agencies, etc are welcomed.
If you are not able for an entire shift but are still interested in volunteering, just let us know when you are available.
• Lunch will be provided between noon and 1:00 pm.
• An outdoor tent with a heater for breaks provided.
• Volunteers are responsible for wearing appropriate winter clothing.
• Dressing in layers is recommended so you can remove or add layers to stay comfortable.
• Volunteers must be 18 or older and will be asked to sign a photo release / waiver of liability form.
Email or call Danielle Stowell, Winter Arts Coordinator for the Dubuque Museum of Art, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563.581.9688 with questions or to signup to volunteer. Volunteers can also sign up directly for this opportunity on VolunteerDBQ.
For general information on Winter Arts, visit http://www.cityofdubuque.org/winterarts or contact City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Manager Jenni Petersen-Brant at email@example.com or 563.513.5636.
Winter Arts 2022 Snow Sculpting Competition & Festival
Public Event and Voting: Sunday, February 13th
The Dubuque Museum of Art, in partnership with the City of Dubuque, will host the 2022 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Competition & Festival, sanctioned by Winter Fun Inc., February 10th – 13th. Visit with the artists as they transform 288 cubic feet blocks of snow into masterful works of art.
Vote for your favorite on Sunday, February 13th, from 12PM – 4PM. Families are invited to make their very own snow sculptures. Stay warm with Asian street food from VERSUS food truck.
Special thanks to event sponsors:
McCoy Group & Truck Country
The Dubuque Museum of Art
City of Dubuque Office of Arts & Culture
Winter Fun, Inc.
Forget Me Not Landscaping
Black Hills Energy
Saturday, February 8th
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Washington Park (Across from the Museum)
The Dubuque Museum of Art and the City of Dubuque Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs are pleased to partner to present the 2020 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival, a free community event.
The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite sculpture for a People’s Choice Award. A State of Iowa award winner will be selected by a local jury and will advance to the US National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wis. Both winners will be announced at the event at 3:45 p.m.
The community snow sculpting portion of the event offers the public an opportunity to sculpt as well, either as a team or individually. Community teams or individuals of any age interested in creating snow sculptures of their own will have access to a number of designated blocks. Tools will be provided. Those interested in carving snow should wear clothing appropriate for the weather.
The Dubuque Museum of Art will offer free admission and tours of the current exhibits during the event. The Glab Family Art Studio will be open with lots of hands-on activities for all ages.
Hot beverages and food will be available for purchase on site, courtesy of Frosted N’ Filled and Happi Hibachi
The event is supported through in-kind contributions from Sundown Mountain Resort, Jamar Pattern., and Truck Country and is a sanctioned Winterfun, Inc. contest.
For additional information, or questions on event schedule changes, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/winterarts or contact the Dubuque Museum of Art at 563.557.1851.
Saturday, January 26, 2019, Washington Park
The Dubuque Museum of Art, in partnership with the City of Dubuque’s Art in the Park initiative and Winterfun, Inc., hosts the Winter Arts In The Park – 2019 Snow Sculpting Competition January 26, 2019 in Washington Park in Downtown Dubuque.
Come to see pro & student teams battle it out for People’s Choice and Best in Snow. You can vote for your favorite team from 12 pm to 3:30 pm. Announcement of the winners will be made at 3:45 pm. Everyone is also invited to try their hand at snow sculpting in the community/family area. Materials and tools will be available on site.
Snow Sculpting teams can be observed creating their outdoor masterpieces beginning January 23rd up until the celebration on the 26th.
Photo credit: City of Dubuque 2018