You can win $1000 for your snow sculpture

For the past seven years, Dubuque has held their annual winter snow sculpting festival. It features professional, amateur, and collegiate artists who turn a large cube of snow into a masterpiece.

Address: Washington Park, 700 Locust St, Dubuque, IA 52001


Check on the final sculptures on Sunday, Feb 11th. Photo provided by Travel Dubuque.

What is the Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival?

Teams of three compete for either a $1000 grand prize or $300 for the People’s Choice award by building their best sculpture out of snow. Teams use their own tools (no power tools allowed) to fashion snow, ice, and water into a sculpture.

YouTube video

When is the Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival for 2024?

Sculpting starts on Feb 8th and runs through noon on Feb 11th. The public is welcome to watch the sculpting process. Judging begins at noon on Sunday, Feb 11th, 2024.

What is the deadline to enter?

There is no cost to submit, but applications are due by 5 pm on Mon Jan 15th, 2024. Visit the City of Dubuque’s webpage for competition requirements for application information.

Participants begin work on their snow sculptures. Photo provided by Travel Dubuque.

What are the rules for who can enter?

Each team can be made of only three people, who must be 18 years old. If you win and want a chance to represent the state of Iowa at the national competition, two of the members must be residents of Iowa. Each team will receive a 6-foot by 6-foot by 8-foot cube of snow. The final creation must be less than 10 feet in width or depth.

How are sculptures judged and what can you win?

Sculptures are judged on three criteria: Creativity, Technique & Craftmanship, and Overall Impression. The overall winner not only receives $1,000, but they are also crowned the state of Iowa snow sculpting champion and are entered into the national snow sculpting contest. There is also a $300 prize for the team voted as Peoples Choice Award, which is done in person and online by the visitors.

What if there is no snow on the ground?

If there is no snow on the ground, the competition continues as they bring snow in from one of the sponsors – Sundown Mountain Resort. However, other inclement weather can alter the schedule.

Photo provided by Travel Dubuque.

What other activities take place during the Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival?

On Sunday Feb 12th from 12 noon to 4pm, the following activities are available:

  • Visit the final snow sculpture creations in Washington Park ( 700 Locust St, Dubuque, IA 52001)
  • Participate in the People’s Choice Award and vote for your favorite snow sculpture.
  • Make your own mini masterpiece at an artist-led workshop, then warm up with hot cocoa and Birds fried chicken.

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