Temps plunge just in time for Zehnder's Snowfest - WNEM TV 5

Temps plunge just in time for Zehnder's Snowfest

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FRANKENMUTH, MI (WNEM) -

Controlling the weather is impossible but what can you do when a major event depends on having certain conditions?

Saturday was the biggest day for Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth. The event attracted thousands of people to Michigan’s Little Bavaria to see ice and snow sculptures crafted by artists from all over the world.

“Saturday is always the peak day. I think we’re going to have 60-70,000 people just on Saturday. Historically, we range anywhere north of 100,000 people that participate in the Snowfest. Every indication is that we're going to have the same results for 2017,” John Shelton said.

Shelton is the vice president of marketing for Zehnder’s restaurant and one of the event’s lead organizers.

He said while the start of the week had some unusually warm temperatures, he was glad to see them plunge just in time for the event.

“I can’t control what happens Snowfest weekend. Fortunately, we've never had a blizzard or conditions that have kept people away. We've dealt with temps. One year, it was like 2000 or 1999, the high all weekend was 4,” Shelton said.

Now through years of trial and error.  organizers have a system where they don't have to depend on the weather entirely. They can make their own snow prior to the big week.

“It’s a high risk to wait on the weather so that’s when we first purchased the snow gun,” Shelton said.

While cold temperatures don't necessarily make or break the event they can definitely have a significant impact on the quality of work.

Christy Dunsmoor is a snow sculptor who came all the way to Frankenmuth from Wisconsin. She said the cold is what allows her to create those intricate details to make the most of her sculptures.

“Well when it’s too warm of course it melting and then when you want to put detail in there’s nothing you can do because it melts away. But if it’s too cold then it starts to chip off so we like the happy medium around the 20s because then we do detail it holds,” she said.

The fun in Frankenmuth isn’t over.

Snowfest continues Sunday with more ice carving competitions, live entertainment and family fun.

Monday, Zehnder's will host the 25th annual Chef's Hot Food Competition and Tasting.

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