These are events from the 2019 Ely Winter Festival.  As we start adding events to the 2020 Festival, the calendar will switch over to 2020.  Thanks for your interest in the Ely Winter Festival!
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NLAA Amateur Snow Carving Contest

NLAA amateur snow carving contest

Each year during the Ely Winter Festival, the Northern Lakes Arts Association (NLAA) sponsors an Amateur Snow Carving Contest. This year’s contest will be held from February 7 – February 10 with judging on Saturday, February 9th.  Visit the NLAA web site to register.

Participants need to enter to reserve one of 15 4′ x 4′ snow blocks available for carving in Whiteside Park over the week. The contest is for amateur carvers and is judged according to the following three categories: 1) Individuals, adult or student; 2) Adult groups; 3) Student groups.

Are you a professional carver who would like to apply to participate in the “professional” Snow Sculpting Symposium?  Please apply here.


  • Fifteen (15) blocks are available, one block per group, on a “first come first serve” basis according to entry order.
  • Contestants may carve Thursday, February 7th through Sunday, February 10th. 
  • No colorants are allowed, but the theme is wide open for creativity! As we’ve seen in the past, it’s amazing what can be carved from snow! A sign will be left in the park for each group or individual who should pick a block and claim it with the sign.
  • Once you have submitted an entry, unless otherwise notified, you are registered for a block. There is a $10 fee.
  • A few things we’ve learned from experience:
    1. We will try to provide the best block we can for your use, however, we are not responsible for the weather conditions, or condition of the snow, should it warm up.
    2. We will try to make the entry categories as fair as we can. You must tell us who and how many are carving, to determine your category. (Also, if in a youth group category, youth should be designing and carving the block, not adults.)
    3. Once you mark a block with the sign, it is yours; do not switch blocks.
    4. Watch the weather forecast and then plan your carving around the weather and the judging. For example, if it is to be warm and sunny on Wednesday, save carving for later so that the block does not begin to deteriorate once carved down.

Visit the NLAA web site to register.

Feb 07 2019


Start: February 7
End: February 12
Event Categories: ,


Whiteside Park

700 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731 United States

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Northern Lakes Arts Association
Phone: 218-365-5070
Website: Visit Organizer Website