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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 31 January, 2011 0:19 AM

The 2011 Zehnder's Snowfest wraps up today in Frankenmuth

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

A snow sculpture of a steering wheel and a shipwrecked vessel at the Zehnder's Snowfest on Jan. 28, 2011.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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FRANKENMUTH, Mich. -- Over the past week, attendees have been treated to ice sculptures, larger-than-life snow sculptures, LIVE entertainment, fireworks and kids activities in Frankenmuth, Mich. There was even an apple pie contest on the opening day of the festival. The 20th Annual Zehnder's Snowfest wraps up later today. The final activity will be the Chef's Hot Food Competition and Tasting. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and it is a Salute to Mardi Gras. The cost is $30 per person, with proceeds being donated to charity.

There was no concern over the sculptures melting. Temperatures were in the single digits for most of the week, topping out in the 20's in the afternoon. Winds were light with gusts at 5 to 10 mph each day. In the beginning, each block of snow is 10 ft. long, 10 ft. wide and 20 ft. high. Then, it is transformed into beautiful snow sculptures for everyone to enjoy.

"The top is going to be resembling an ear of corn," said Terry Hoenshell of Owosso, Mich., whose son is working on a snow sculpture of a space shuttle. "The symbolism is man vs. nature. How we need to look more into renewable energy and get away from man-made fossil fuel. They started Wednesday at about 7 o'clock. This is their second year -- last year they got into the high school competition and won that. This is my first year getting involved. I'm quite amazed at all the intricate work that goes into all of these sculptures."

The winners world class double block ice sculpting competition were announced on Sunday. Gordon Oberman and Al Foster won with their sculpture of an eagle that just caught a fish for dinner. Oberman is a graphic artist for WEYI-TV Ch. 25 in Clio, Mich.

Award-winning master ice sculptor created a 60-block ice masterpiece of "The Lost City of Atlantis." It featured mermaids, fish, giant clams and Neptune along with other ice carvings.

"We come every year," said Whitney Bauschatz of Midland, Mich. "I like seeing the different ice sculptures, going in the little shops. There's lots of great places to eat, too. I like the snow sculptures better. Just to stand there and watch them too. It takes so much technique and time. Usually, I come a couple of times. It's just a lot of fun and I think everybody should come and check it out."

The 98 FM KCQ Karaoke Competition was held on Friday evening inside the warming tent. Cody Owens, winner of the adult division, was awarded a pair of tickets to see Kenny Chesney at Ford Field in downtown Detroit this August. Ashley Hogan, winner of the junior division, was awarded a group of passes for her and some friends to enjoy the day at the Zehnder's Splash Village water park.

Attendees were treated to a winter wonder worship on Thursday evening, a concert by The Steel Wheels on Friday evening, music by Ceyx and The Rock Show on Saturday evening and a concert by The Sauce Cats on Sunday afternoon.

"I was here a few years ago," said Charles Short from Flushing, Mich. "I like all of the sculptures, they're really creative and it's pretty interesting how they do them. I think I like the snow sculptures more. I would say them. I'll probably just stay one day, I've got a lot going on with schoolwork."

The children's play area featured a petting zoo and pony rides from noon to 5 p.m. on each day of the festival. In addition, there was chicken bowling in front of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Children's inflatables were available at the Frankenmuth River Place along with the high school snow sculptures.

"I like to see people's reactions to the sculptures and how they appreciate them," said Shanae Clark of Flint, Mich. "I like the ice because there's more definition. It's fun to enjoy it once. I think it's a fun time and people should come out."

For more information on the Zehnder's Snowfest, visit www.zehnders.com/zehnderssnowfest.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

A snow sculpture of a robot

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

They are putting the final touches on this snow sculpture.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

Another snow sculpture on Friday afternoon

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

Larger-than-life snow sculpture

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

This snow sculpture looks a lot like a tree.

 

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