'Balmy' weather won't stop Snowfest - WNEM TV 5

'Balmy' weather won't stop Snowfest

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FRANKENMUTH, MI (WNEM) -

This week is the start of one of the largest wintertime festivals around, Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth.

But Mid-Michigan’s balmy weather has some wondering if Mother Nature will put a damper on ice sculpting activities.

John Shelton is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Snowfest. He said that even in 40-degree weather, the massive snow blocks will have a hard time melting, and the tarps protect the ice from rain.

“It takes a very, very warm day to melt all of this. The mass is too big,” said Shelton.

Like the massive snow piles that sit in parking lots for months, these huge blocks of ice insulate themselves, and only the outside layers melt away.

Which isn’t nearly enough to halt the show.

“The outside layer is almost what you could recognize as a snow cone. They’re just going to chop that away anyway. About 30 percent of what you see here they get rid of, what they call their bulk work.”

The unseasonably warm weather has come at a great time as workers don’t have to brave the freezing temperatures while setting up for the 5-day event.

Temperatures are expected to drop as next weekend approaches. Which will be just in time for the sculpting and judging.

“Actually the forecast for the weekend is ideal for the crowds. A little snow flurries, mid-30s to low 20s, that’s a perfect forecast for the sculptures and the pieces.”

Snowfest kicks off on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and organizers promise the snow will still be here.

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