Stillwater, Minnesota, is powered by small businesses with big hearts. In 2020, when busy little Main Street came to a startling halt due to the COVID pandemic, the community feared for the future of the bustling tourist town. Led by the mayor, the Chamber of Commerce, and city staff and locals, the Wintertime in Stillwater movement was created.
The community worked together to find ideas and inspiration that could save struggling businesses and provide long-term success during the cold winter months. Stillwater, a haven for the arts, seemed like a perfect fit for a snow sculpting event. Upon further investigation, the organizers learned about Winter Fun, a snow sculpting organization. Winter Fun was searching for the right host for a World Competition and found Stillwater to be the perfect spot for the inaugural event! Once again, the strength of this small town showed up, and thousands of dollars of in-kind and cash donations poured in from local businesses to support the launch of the most incredible wintertime event. More than 40,000 visitors flooded the streets to see the sculptures, eat at restaurants and shop at the boutiques.
The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with Discover Stillwater, the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and the City of Stillwater, is honored to host the second-annual 2023 World Snow Sculpting Championship Competition sanctioned by the Association Internationale de Sculpture sur Neige et Clace based in Finland. Teams from around the world travel to Stillwater to create amazing snow sculptures while competing for prize money and the title of World Champion. This is a judged event and includes social events, activities, ceremonies, the people’s choice award and fun for the whole family!
Stillwater is excited for another year of partnership, fun, community and a little competition! In addition to snow sculpting, there are many activities to participate in! A few highlights include:
The Opening Ceremony: Wednesday, Jan. 18
9:00 am - Tools up, sculptors begin sculpting! - Location: Lowell Park Gazebo
9:00 am - Celebrate with a bloody mary bar at Water Street Inn.
Opening Ceremony 4:30 pm - Location: JX Event Center - Formal event open to the public with a dinner and program; meet the teams.
The Closing Ceremony: Saturday, Jan. 21
Closing Ceremony and Awards 4:00 pm - Location: Lowell Park Gazebo
Attend the Closing Ceremony and watch the world-class snow sculpting teams be awarded first, second and third place, and the coveted People’s Choice award!
World’s Coolest Block Party: Saturday, Jan. 21
World's Coolest Block Party 6:00-9:00 pm - Location: Lowell Park
Enjoy music, entertainment, beverages and snacks while perusing eye-popping, award-winning, internationally recognized snow sculptures!
Minnesnowta Nice Day: Sunday, Jan. 22
MinneSnowta Nice Day 9:00am-5:00 pm. - Location: Lowell Park
Dancing, live music, Minnesota character/mascot appearances and all things Minnesota!
Read more of our stories in Issue 24 of Lake and Company.