Warm weather raises concerns for Illinois snow sculpting competition

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The warm weather may be a welcome change for the Rock River Valley, but it is an unwelcome visitor by the organizers of this year's snow sculpting competition.

"Right now our biggest enemy is the warmth," said John Beck, Rockford Park District Events and Recreations Manager.

The 32nd annual snow sculpting competition is scheduled to begin next week.

"Last year we actually had to postpone the competition one week because the week of the highs were in the 50s," said Beck.

Organizers used the recent cold snap and snowfall to plan ahead.

"We were very lucky with the deep freeze because we made a ton of snow during that time so we are ready to go even in the warm-up," said Rockford Park District Outdoor and Recreation Education Manager Becky Stokes-Lambert.

The Park District says its not too worried about the temperatures because there are mounds of extra snow to use as a backup, in case the current supply starts melting.

"We always account for how much we need to make and what could possibly melt off. We'd be in trouble if we were going to be at 50 degrees for a week, that might be an issue, but the one-day warm-up that we're expecting, we should be just fine," added Stokes-Lambert.

Beck says the ideal temperatures would be between the teens and twenties which would keep the snow from melting while avoiding frostbite concerns.

"Past two years now, we've been able to make our own snow so that's not a worry anymore which is a big relief because in the past we've had to cancel the competition because there was no snow," added Beck.

While they're able to make their own snow, the Park District says it's still keeping an eye on the weather to make sure the competition goes on as scheduled.

"We're just monitoring the weather. There have been some years where it's been just perfect, you know nice and cold, not too cold but plenty of snow," said Beck.

The Park District will be packing the snow into boxes this Friday to get the snow ready for sculpting next week.