Stowe’s 46th annual winter carnival is underway, with plenty to see. From snow-golf and volleyball tournaments, to ice carving demonstrations and competitions.
“I came on about twenty-four years ago and knew that we needed an exciting event. Met some ice carvers myself and said ‘Well wait, let’s do a competition!'” said Huntly Armbruster… Stowe’s Winter Carnival organizer.
Saturday afternoon, the 20th Annual Ice Carving Competition happened at the Alchemist Brewery. Professional and amateur ice carvers from across the country were in attendance to show off their carving skills.
Amateurs had just two hours to complete their sculptures from three hundred pound blocks of ice. Meanwhile, the pros had three hours to sculpt their designs from six hundred pound blocks, which made their way all of the way from the mid-Atlantic.
Mark Crouthamel, who has been competing in the ice carving competition since its beginnings twenty years ago, is this years judge. He is also responsible for making all of the ice and getting it to Stowe in time for the Winter Carnivals festivities. “A few years later as my company grew, I started making enough ice that I was able to provide the ice for the festival. So that’s a tractor trailer load coming up from Northeast Pennsylvania every January for the Stowe Winter Carnival”, said Crouthamel.
Putting on something of this capacity is a lot of work… work that Armbruster says couldn’t be done without the help of local shops and businesses. “This event costs thousands and thousands of dollars, sponsorship is so important to non-profits. Stowe’s Winter Carnival was going on for a long time so we have a pretty good reputation” she says.