Smokey Bear Park is now home to a menagerie of snowy creatures – a unicorn, a penguin, a fire pit and more – ready and waiting for the upcoming Icebox Days festivities.

Wednesday afternoon, members of the local Borderland Interact club chipped away and shaped their mound of snow using unconventional implements, including a scraper, squeegee, and Frisbee.

While the group planned to sculpt a penguin, debate sparked over the design and whether to include an egg. Temperatures hovered around 5 degrees, snow was deep, and many kids fell down during the sculpting process.

Rotary President Ashley Hall noted that waiting until Wednesday to sculpt may have benefited the group, as other sculptures finished earlier in the week were covered with a fresh blanket of snow.

In past years, sculptures had been created by Falls Elementary School fourth-graders, but due to frequent below zero temperatures and irregular snow, the schools opted to discontinue the tradition, leading the International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce to open the door to more community organizations.

In a public Facebook post, the Chamber wrote, “We currently do not have a group committed to creating snow sculptures for this year’s Icebox Days, so in hopes of keeping this favorite tradition alive in its 40th year, the Chamber would like to open a community Snow Sculpture Challenge. Let’s not let all this beautiful snow go to waste.”

Winning snow sculptures will receive Chamber dollars and other prizes; judging will commence during Icebox Days festivities.

Icebox Days events will continue through Sunday.

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