It's cold work, but someone's gotta do it. For the 28th year, Breckenridge welcomes the most talented snow sculptors in the world for the Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships.

The snowman in your front yard's got nothing on these guys. From January 22 to 29, 2018, snow sculptors from around the world will descend upon Breckenridge to compete to create the most impressive sculpture in "one of the world’s most prestigious snow sculpting events, where teams are known to take risks and come together in the spirit of camaraderie," according to the event's website. Sculpting takes place January 22–26, and teams will burn the midnight oil to ensure that their sculpture is finished within the 65-hour competition timeframe. They'll use ladders, scaffolding, hand saws, brushes, shovels, brooms, and other small tools (no power tools allowed!) to transform a 25-ton, 12' tall block of snow into a true masterpiece. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="29218,29219,29217,29216"] Visitors are welcome to watch the sculpting process (for free!) and see the sculptures evolve over the course of the five days. The winning teams will be announced in an awards ceremony on Friday, January 26, at 2 p.m. Then, public viewing of the completed sculptures will be possible through the weekend, till Monday, January 29, at 7 p.m., amidst a fun, lively atmosphere! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="29212,29211,29209"] In addition, kids can get in on the action at the Main Street Station Junior Snow Sculpture event on Saturday, January 27. Instructed by snow sculptor Mauricio Meneses, participants will learn the basics of the art and carve their own animal-themed snow sculptures.
Last year's competing sculptors included teams from China, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, India, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Sweden, Turkey, USA-Breckenridge, USA-Loveland, USA-Vermont, and USA-Wisconsin. Team China won first place, while Sweden won second, and two Mongolian teams tied for third. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="29210,29215"] Though the winning teams don't receive a monetary prize, they do get medals, recognition, and bragging rights within the international snow sculpture community. Stipends for travel, meals, and lodging are provided to every team, regardless of the outcome. The entire event is FREE to attend! Visit the event's website or Facebook page for more information! Have you gone to the snow sculpture championship in past years? Will you go this year? Tell us in the comments below!

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