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Thursday, 26 January 2017 12:38

Lake Geneva hosts U.S. National snow sculpting 2017

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Teams of three sculptors have three days and nights to finish their sculptures. Only hand tools may be used to create the 10-foot-tall sculptures. Teams of three sculptors have three days and nights to finish their sculptures. Only hand tools may be used to create the 10-foot-tall sculptures. Terry Mayer/staff

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The city of Lake Geneva holds its annual Winterfest celebration Saturday, Jan. 28, through Sunday, Feb. 12. The festival features the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition as its centerpiece event but also includes music, magic, refreshments, helicopter rides, shopping and dining.

Where winter meets art

The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition draws more than 20,000 people each year to downtown Lake Geneva.

Fifteen teams of sculptors begin work Wednesday, Feb. 1, and must be finished by 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. People’s Choice Award voting runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Since 1996, the nation’s top snow sculptors have packed their hand tools and headed to southeastern Wisconsin to compete in this granddaddy of snow sculpting competitions. The 10-foot-high sculptures that adorn the lakefront are the most notable features of Winterfest, a celebration of family and fun along the banks of Geneva Lake.

In addition to the location in Driehaus Plaza in front of the Riviera, nearly half of the sculptures will be on display across the street at Flat Iron Park. A portion of Wrigley Drive will be closed to allow everyone to walk safely between the two locations.

Additional events will take place in the Riviera building, but the entire city gets involved with Winterfest by offering special programs and events.

Crowning of the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition Champion’s Award, second and third place and the Peoples Choice Award takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, inside the Riviera.

Free parking, shuttle

Parking is free in downtown Lake Geneva during the snow sculpting. Plus, a free shuttle bus service will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, and Sunday, Feb. 5. 

The free shuttle is available at the Home Depot parking lot, 550 N. Edwards Blvd., Lake Geneva. Shuttles run continuously.

Plenty to do

This schedule of events is subject to change. Call the chamber of commerce for details at 262-248-4416.

-- Events kick of Saturday, Jan. 28 with the on Jan. 28, with the Abominable Snow Race coming this year for the first time to The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. (See the Weekender section in this week’s paper for more information.)

-- Historic tea and tours at noon on Saturday, Feb. 4, at The Baker House, 327 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. The Victorian-dressed staff guides guests through a historic journey, sharing the story of this nationally registered property along with Victorian antidotes of tea and history.

-- All-Star LEGO Show weekend from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, at The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd. in Fontana. Spend the weekend viewing professionally created LEGO exhibits and participating in LEGO workshops and activities.

-- A carnival at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa will provide wintertime fun for kids of all ages from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4.

Scheduled events at The Mountain Top include ski school and ski patrol demonstrations; various snowboarding and skiing competitions with categories ranging from 12-and-under to 50-and-over; plus a variety of children’s games and snow activities.

 A torchlight parade at dusk featuring the resort’s instructional ski staff cascading down the slopes will make  way for the Grand Fireworks, which conclude the day’s activities.

For more information, call 800-558-3417 or visit

 -- Lake Geneva Chili Cook-off, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Hawk’s View Golf Course and Country Club, 7377 Krueger Road, Lake Geneva. The cook-off, presented by Lake Geneva Country Meats, will be judged from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. followed by chili sampling from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also enjoy a bloody mary bar, sledding and live music by The Barnacles. 

-- MaXXX Winter fun with rides and a display at the Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Enjoy free Side x Side rides, turkey bowling, ice skating, food, beverages and a firepit. 

-- The Baker House features its sixth annual Fire & Ice Lounge. Ice Angels will serve fireside drinks in cups made entirely of ice, and for those who prefer something a little less chilly, there will be signature hot toddies. Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 2 through Feb. 4.

-- Wisconsin supper clubs author and film presentation and food tasting from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Horticultural Hall, Lake Geneva. Author Mary Bergin will talk about some of her favorite supper clubs from her "Wisconsin Supper Club" cookbook. Chicago-based filmmaker Holly De Ruyter will show her film "Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club." Tickets at 262-248-1888.

-- Lake Geneva’s Cornerstone Shop & Gallery, 214 Broad St., will host its annual Winterfest open house on Saturday, Feb. 4, featuring art and book signings, special guests and refreshments. 262-248-6988 or

-- Winterfest Soup-er Magical evening from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. Sponsored by Harbor Shores, 300 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. Children will love sampling soups from area restaurants, watching the magic unfold at 5:30 p.m. and joining in the music game show at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit local food pantries.



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