Sculptors honor late John Beck at Ill. Snow Sculpting Competition

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 11:21 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Blocks of snow turn into works of art in the 35th annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition.

Eight high school teams and nine adult teams are competing for a chance to go on to the National Snow Sculpting Competition next month, including last year’s winner that was never able to compete in Lake Geneva due to the pandemic.

The 2020 winner, Cave People from Space, created an exhibition block titled, “Thank you, John” to honor the late John Beck, who passed away last April. Beck was a long time Rockford Park District employee and the former event coordinator for the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition. The Rockford Park District said they couldn’t think of a better way to honor their old friend and colleague.

“In remembrance of John, his love of this park, his love of this event, his love of this community,” said this year’s coordinator, Kellie Olivencia with the Rockford Park District. “John was also a Rockford City Alderman, so he did play a big part in this community. We just want to remember him and all the great things that he did for the park district and for Rockford as a whole.”

That’s not the only sculpture in Beck’s honor. A competing team, Quatschmen, also are paying tribute with their “Well done, John” sculpture, highlighting Beck’s iconic wheelchair.

The public is encouraged to attend the free event at Sinnissippi Park, with the competition wrapping up Saturday. Judging gets underway around 10 a.m. Saturday, though people can cast their vote for People’s Choice between 8:30 - 11 a.m. Winners will be announced around 1 p.m.

For more information and to check out a full list of sculpture drawings visit

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