Featured Festival: Loveland Snow Sculpture in the Dark, 2014

I’ve been attending and writing about Snow Sculpture in the Dark since it’s conception in 2010. A grassroots event, it has grown into a sanction snow sculpting competition where the winners go on to represent the State of Colorado at the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championships. It’s a pretty darn big deal, and the artists who participate take it very seriously.

Loveland Snow Sculpture in the Dark

This is as much a community event as it is for spectators. On February 10, local businesses will bring teams of individuals to downtown Loveland to stomp snow. This prepares the snow for sculpting. The sculptures are carved out of a single block of snow weighing roughly 10 to 30 tons.

HeidiTown snow stomping team at Loveland Snow Sculpture in the Dark 2013.
HeidiTown snow stomping team at Loveland Snow Sculpture in the Dark 2013

The artistic teams consist of up to 3 artists and they converge up on the 8′ x 8′ snow blocks on February 11. This year’s teams are coming from as far as Breckenridge, and as close as Loveland. Most have been working on their design for weeks and months prior to the start of the event. The materials and tools used to sculpt vary, but consist of hand tools such as shovels and hatchets. This is art that also qualifies as manual labor.

For the citizens of Loveland, who get to watch the sculptures take shape during the week, it’s a sight to behold. To have the creative ability to turn a pile of snow into a creation that was once just a drawing on paper is mind boggling to those of us who are not artists.

The snow sculptures will be along 4th Street in downtown Loveland running from Cleveland Avenue to Garfield Avenue. Last year I was an official judge at this event and it was one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had because the level of talent and passion was outstanding. While the overall winners are decided by a few judges, the public is given a chance to vote on their favorite as well.

Snow Sculpture in the Dark 1. HeidiTown.com
People’s Choice Winner 2013, Snow Sculpture after Dark – Loveland, Colorado.
Snow Sculpture in the Dark 26. HeidiTown.com
This wooly mammoth, by Team Breck, was also a crowd favorite and 3rd place winner overall in 2013.

The main event that will be especially fun for visitors to Loveland takes place Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. On Friday the snow sculpting will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Horse draw carriage rides will be available, free for children and just $1 for adults.

On Saturday the sculptors will be scrambling to complete their chilly works of art from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. There will be all sorts of free family activities between 11 a.m. ad 4 p.m. including ice bowling, a magician, entertainment, free hot chocolate and more. This was an event created with families in mind, and is an affordable way to enjoy downtown Loveland.

At 3 p.m. the awards ceremony will take place and the People’s Choice will also be awarded.

Visit Loveland Snow Sculpture in the Dark online at LovelandSnowSculpture.com.

Love + Light at the Loveland Feed & Grain

While in downtown, stop by the historic Loveland Feed & Grain, within easy walking distance of the snow sculpture event. This is the site of one of the most unique art shows you’ll stumble across. It’s called Love + Light and last year’s exhibition did not disappoint. This show features contemporary and conceptual that will impress.

Love and Light 2014

In addition to photography light graffiti and fire dancers, this year there will be 10 hearts made out of LED lights for visitors to admire. Love + Light takes place February 13-15, 2014 and a $5 donation is suggested.

Go to LovelandFeedandGrain.com  for more information.


I hope to see you in Loveland this Valentine’s Day Weekend! And don’t forget My Big Date Night, the ValentinesDayinLoveland.com package that includes an overnight stay in the Sweetheart City brought to you by HeidiTown, My Big Day, LLC and NOCO Short Bus Tours.    

Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event featured? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.


  1. Loveland Snow Sculpture in the Dark is one of my favorite Loveland events. It is simply astonishing, the level of detail sculpted snow yields.

    Factor in variables like weather conditions (freezing snow is a different challenge than melting snow) and impurities in the snow block (i.e. rocks, pebbles, etc.), plus difficulty of the design and how the piece holds the weight and you have contest that pits artistic skill and engineering ability against temperature fluctuations and the sun.

    But when you watch the teams sculpting, often through the night the day before judging, they are using curious hand-fashioned tools. You see them seriously carving snow and yet having fun at the same time.

    I wouldn’t miss it! Besides, it is fun to stroll from team to team down 4th Street with a steaming cup of hot chocolate in hand.


  2. I am putting this on our calendar. It think Jude would really like this!


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