Snowfest ice sculpture dedicated to Ofc. Koenig

Ice sculpture carved by Jacob Gillman and his team (left, Source: WNEM) and Ofc. Jeff Koenig (right, Source: Saginaw Township Police Department).

More than 150 ice and snow sculptures take shape each year at Zehnder’s Snowfest.

Teams from all over the world descend on Little Bavaria to compete but one division is dedicated to local talent.

The Michigan State Single Block competition is made up of teams from the mitten state.

“This is a perfect year compared to the last few where it was really, really cold and then really, really warm then we had the polar vortex a few years back and that kind of messed it up for some people,” said Jacob Gillman from Bay City.

For seven years, Gillman and his team out of Bay City work on snow designs hoping to take home the grand prize.

But as they were getting ready to head to Frankenmuth, tragedy struck close to home.

“It was a huge impact because it was so sudden. I remember waking up and my parents reading off the news, I just knew it wasn’t going to be good,” Gillman said.

The news that Saginaw Township Police Ofc. Jeff Koenig was shot during a traffic stop earlier this week shook Mid-Michigan to the core.

More than $150,000 and counting has been raised for Ofc. Koenig’s recovery.

Gillman wanted to show his support while at Snowfest as well.

“It really means a lot especially for my family since we’re all a lineage of police officers but other than that just reaching out to the community and just showing support,” Gillman said.

Gillman hopes Snowfest is another chance for people to come together. Just another opportunity to show off how amazing our community is.

“How many places can you go to see snow carving competitions while being in a very unique town,” Gillman said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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