The Big Chill brings expert snow sculptors to downtown Racine

RACINE (WITI) -- One week after bitterly cold temperatures blanketed southeastern Wisconsin -- there was a concern it may be too warm in Racine on Sunday, January 12th!

The Big Chill was held in downtown Racine this weekend -- kicking off on Friday evening, January 10th and running through Sunday afternoon, January 12th.

The Big Chill brings expert snow sculptors into downtown Racine to compete in the Wisconsin State Snow Sculpting Competition held in Monument Square.

Sixteen two-person teams worked to turn blocks of snow into works of art -- and competed for the right to represent Wisconsin in the 2015 national competition!

It's a big deal -- so of course, organizers worried that milder temperatures this weekend would cause problems for snow sculptors, but all seemed to go well.

"25 degrees is perfect! Even below that, the snow solidifies and then they can do anything with it. They can open it up a bit more. They can also get nice, smooth surfaces out of it," Jeff Shawhan, the chairman of the annual Big Chill event said Sunday.

Snow sculpting teams were offered a block of snow measuring six-by-six-by-eight. Where they go from there varies greatly.

"We really don’t do a lot of building with the snow. It’s all carved into, so it’s a little bit different than they teach you in school. When it's all said and done, it's really the people who come down is what makes it worthwhile -- unless they don't like it! Then it's not that great," Mike Nehs with Snowblind Snow Sculpting said.

The spectators seemed to be impressed as they checked out the sculptures on Sunday.

"You have snow and you have ice and you have cold. It doesn't get any better," Bob Parker said.

Winners of the snow sculpting competition take home $500 and earn a trip to the national championship.