Stowe Winter Carnival returns after pandemic hiatus

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 3:28 PM EST
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STOWE, Vt. (WCAX) - Despite temperatures in the single digits and below this weekend, Stowe is alive this weekend for the return of the Winter Carnival. To kick off the events, ice sculptors have been working all day on their cold creations, from the village up to Mountain Road.

The sound of chain saws will echo through Stowe Village all weekend as ice sculptors converge in Vermont’s winter wonderland.

“These artists create these sculptures out of ice, they give their heart and soul and time and precision to them, and then they melt,” said the carnival’s Huntly Armbuster. It’s all for the Stowe Winter Carnival 21st annual ice carving contest Saturday.

Friday was a day for demos all across town. “I’m so excited. It’s my favorite event this town puts on. I mean, I get to have an ice carving carved for me and I get to share it with the town,” said Kimberly DiNofrio with Tangerine & Olive, one of the Stowe businesses sponsoring the event. “Evan Hughes is my ice-carver, and this year I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do! I got three blocks this year.’ And he said, ‘Let’s do rabbits jumping.’”

We caught up with Hughes as he put the finishing touches on another animal sculpture up the road. “I made a snowboarding bear and the theme is ‘The Power of Love.’ So, he has a heart,” Hughes said. The Pennsylvania sculptor has been participating for five years and says the cold is a good thing. “Perfect weather for ice carving, especially this year. I know other people don’t like the extreme cold but it’s good for the ice, so they should last a little while.

After the carnival was canceled due to covid last year, Armburster says we could all use some long-lasting joy. “Who knows what’s going to happen, right? We’re in the COVID cloud, no one really knows. We’re just trying to make the most of it. It’s an outdoor event, very safe, come on out and enjoy it,” she said.

The ice carving competition takes place at The Alchemist Saturday from 11 to 6.

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