(Lake Geneva, WI): Lake Geneva: Winterfest will be held this year from February 1-5. Along with the snow sculpting, the town will be abuzz with lots of other frosty fun options including s’mores and bonfires on the Riviera beach and a downtown ice sculpture walk.
- WHAT: Lake Geneva Winterfest 2023, free and open to the public
- WHEN: February 1 – 5, 2023
- WHERE: Events and activities at Riviera Plaza, Flat Iron Park, and the downtown shopping district
- WHAT ELSE: Also enjoy an array of more wintery fun during Winterfest, including a downtown ice sculpture tour, igloos and bonfires on the beach, live entertainment and much more for the whole family.
Ice Sculptures The city’s downtown district gets its own icy makeover with hand-crafted ice sculptures displayed in front of more than 30 businesses. Go ahead and fill up your Instagram feed with snaps of these as well.
Bonfires on the Beach With a nod to helping visitors warm up to the idea that a snowy outdoor event is just what they need in February, bonfires on the Riviera Beach will be set ablaze Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Hot cocoa and s’mores kits will be available for purchase.
Warm Up with Comfort Food Visitors to Winterfest will find plenty to like in the way of comfort food, with hot beverages and favorite fest foods to be served inside the Riviera building and outside at food trucks.
Children’s Snow Sculpture Garden Thursday and Friday afternoons at Flat Iron Park, students from four area grade schools will try their hand at creating snow sculptures with mentoring by professional sculptors; their creations will remain on display through the weekend.
Businesses Embracing the Chill The Baker House will have an Ice Bar set up on their front lawn with views to the lake, while Maxwell Mansion is going all out with its Freaky Tiki Winterfest activities on Sunday to include snow painting, hot chocolate bombs, and a tiki igloo with fun, family activities.
THE ART OF SNOW SCULPTING
- The snow is delivered in truckloads, courtesy of Grand Geneva Resort and the snow-making machines at their ski hill. A crew of Winter Fun “stompers” then packs the snow into rectangular wooden forms that stand 8 feet by 8 feet by 10 feet tall, with the forms peeled away, leaving massive snow blocks for teams to start carving.
- The ideal temperature for snow carving is between 20 and 25 degrees. While each team is made up of three sculptors, it’s fair to say that weather is the “fourth teammate” in this competition. That said, the competition goes on regardless of temperature swings.
- The tools used run the gamut from conventional to more innovative homemade tools. No power tools are allowed.
- The sculptures may only include snow and nothing else, even for the most gravity-defying designs.
- The designs often start as hand-drawn renderings and small clay sculptures to guide the sculptors.