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The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships return to Breckenridge, Colo., for the 20th year Jan. 26 to 31, 2010. Teams from around the world will transform blank canvasses of snow into temporary works of art

Thirteen teams from around the globe have been invited to compete from seven countries, including Canada (two teams), China, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia and the USA. The United States teams invited include Alaska, Colorado (Breckenridge and Loveland), Idaho, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The event attracts more than 30,000 people of all ages from across the USA and the world.

Each year, four-person teams are assigned 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of machine-made Colorado snow. These teams work within a five-day period to create their sculptures. From these blocks of snow, the teams often craft enormous pieces of whimsy, although some deliver powerful political or social commentary.

The finished pieces are achieved after a total of 65 intense hours of work without the use of power tools, internal support structures or colorants – just the ingenuity of the sculptors and a medium that lends itself, if only temporarily, to the persuasion of hand tools.

When the sculptures are finished on Saturday, Jan. 30, a panel of well-known artists and patrons of the arts will serve as judges. Awards will be presented to the first-, second- and third-place sculptures on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Awards will also be given for People's Choice, Kids' Choice and Artists' Choice. There are no cash prizes; the artists instead revel in the reward of hard work, forged friendships, freedom of artistic expression and the satisfaction of long hours of preparation that lead to the event.

No one would have guessed 20 years ago that the first International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge would have grown into the renowned world-class event it is today, and that the founders of the event would still be passionately sculpting for Team Breckenridge 20 years later.

For more information, contact the Breckenridge Resort Chamber at (877) 593-5260 or visit

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