Day 3 of Snowfest: Snow, ice carvers make their mark

The judging for the high school snow carving contest started on Friday afternoon, and TV5′s Elisse Ramey said it’s a fierce competition.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 4:29 PM EST
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FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (WNEM) – On the third day of Zehnder’s Snowfest, snow and ice carvers have been making their mark.

Judging for the high school snow carving contest started on Friday evening, and TV5′s Elisse Ramey said it’s a fierce competition.

Some of the high school students have been doing this for a while, and others have just started. Ramey talked to a couple of the teams.

A Kingston High School junior said he and his team spent the last couple of days carving a cardinal cottage representing their school. He said it was a challenge because it was so warm on Thursday.

“There was water coming right off of there, so we carved until late last night to make sure we didn’t have any cave ins,” Kingston High junior Collin Machota said.

Some of the sculptures are serious in topic while others are a bit more lighthearted.

The Nouvel Catholic Central High team created “When Nature Calls.” They said they love the experience.

“You get to go out of school, experience the world, you get to go out and create something out of a block of snow,” said Shawn McDonald, a Nouvel Catholic Central High School senior.

The students get to bond with their team but also create something meaningful.

“I love working with my hands and I’m happy to get out of school for a couple of days,” Machota said.

The ice carvings, one of the things visitors of Snowfest most look forward to, were continuing to be made on Friday as well.

“It’s a lot of fun, a challenge,” said Greg Butauski, a certified master ice sculptor with over 30 years of experience.

Butauski and a team of six guys helped bring this year’s theme, Pirates of the Caribbean, to life. He said he started working eight to 10 hours a day on Sunday and planned to finish up on Friday.

He said the wet weather made the work a bit miserable, but the conditions were okay for the ice.

In addition to the high school snow carving competition and ice carvings, snow carvers for the state competition were continuing their work on Friday.

Ramey said it is so much fun to see how creative everyone gets with their sculptures.

“I think it’s great,” said Mt. Pleasant native Jaide Cotter. “I love seeing people from all over the state coming together and how creative people can be.”

This is Cotter’s third year snow carving, and she said she used to do it in high school. She said she is looking forward to the judging of the state competition on Saturday.

Ramey interviewed John Shelton, vice president of sales and marketing for Zehnder’s, about the creativity of the sculptures and the joyous atmosphere of the festival. Shelton talked about some of the events that are taking place throughout the weekend.

John Shelton gives TV5 a rundown on the events scheduled to take place at Snowfest over the weekend.

Click here for a full list of events for Zehnder’s Snowfest. Don’t forget to share pictures and videos of the fun you’re having at the festival by uploading them to the WNEM website.