Some Brrr River Winter Carnival snow sculptures judged early

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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Published on February 13, 2014

Bear River Winter Carnival organizers Bonnie McLeod and Susan Comeau make sure the dragon is ready for the storm. The dragon breathes fireworks from its mouth Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

Published on February 13, 2014

The Bear River Winter Carnival Dragon.

Published on February 13, 2014

June Hewey says she chose the Statue of Liberty because she wanted to do something tall. Her husband Frank used a lot of ingenuity to get the snow and ice pieces up to the top of the sculpture.

Published on February 13, 2014

The solar lamp lights up at night adding a nice touch, says June.

Published on February 13, 2014

Frank Hewey used the aluminum leg of an old table as a mould for the ice spikes in the statue’s crown. He poured hot water over the leg to get the ice spikes out.

Published on February 13, 2014

Paul Wiles of Greenland had a skidoo for sale on his front yard—only for use in the winter.

Published on February 13, 2014

Paul Wiles’ snowmobile was accurate to the tiniest details.

Published on February 13, 2014

Bobby Lewis couldn’t stop working on his seal sculpture in downtown Bear River, even after the judges had been by Thursday before the storm.

Published on February 13, 2014

Bear River Bargains and Books owner Paul Volenik was working on Tuesday, Feb. 11 on his snow sculpture for the annual winter carnival coming up this weekend.

Published on February 13, 2014

Organizer Bonnie McLeod has two sculptures at the Bear River post office to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Horse.

Published on February 13, 2014

Bonnie MacLeod’s horse at the Bear River post office.

Published on February 13, 2014

The open air rink behind the Bear River Legion is all set for skating.

Published on February 13, 2014

Janet and Shirley Isles were getting their Winter Olympic snow and ice sculpture ready Thursday but don’t plan to finish it until after the storm tonight. The parts they have started, they will tarp over tonight. Here they work on the legs of figure skaters Tessa and Scott.

Published on February 13, 2014

A Canadian speed skater gets ready to start on Shirley and Janet Isles’ Olympic oval in Bear River.

Published on February 13, 2014

The Brrr River Winter Carnival snow and ice Olympic Oval on the Exhibition Road.

Published on February 13, 2014

An Olympic ski jumper was undergoing some emergency surgery at the Bear River Winter Carnival Olympic Oval after a fall reminiscent of Humpty Dumpty.

Published on February 13, 2014

A snowplane landed in the front yard of Matthew Henshaw in Bear River.

Weather not dampening Carnival Spirit in Bear River

Many of the sculptors have put the finishing touches on their entries in the Bear River snow sculpture contest and called in the judges already, two days before the Saturday deadline.

Some snow sculptors, like the Heweys in Greenland were anxious to have their artwork judged before the storm tonight, while others like the Isles on Exhibition Road will wait until the mixed bag of weather passes over to call in the judges.

On Thursday afternoon, organizers Susan Comeau and Bonnie MacLeod were firming up the snow on their sculptures downtown including the trademark dragon on the waterfront.

The dragon will be ready to spit fireworks on Saturday at 7 p.m. they promise. They are hopeful the sledding castle, dragon and other downtown snow sculptures have frozen hard enough to withstand a little rain.

Long time  snow sculptor June Hewey of Greenland says the snow conditions this year presented a real challenge.

“Usually we have packy snow but this was real dry so we had to spray it down and let it freeze,” she said. “But it was so cold if you left the hose turned off for a couple minutes, it froze soldid and we had to take it in and thaw it out.”

Hewey decided this year on the Statue of Liberty because she wanted to do something tall.

And when everyone, including her husband Frank told her it couldn’t be done, her mind was made up.

Still Frank, like he did with Elvis and Queen Elizabeth in years past, made it happen with ladders and a special vertical sled snow conveyance system.

To make the spikes in the statue’s crown, he poured and froze water in the aluminum legs of an old table. After they froze solid he poured hot water over the outside of the mould to get out the spikes.

After they got the main shape up they began hacking at the frozen block of ice to add the details, and then they painted it a tarnishy green.

The Heweys, it should be mentioned, will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend.

Bobby Lewis so enjoyed the process of carving snow, he couldn’t stop adding finishing touches Thursday even after the judges had been to look at his seal in downtown Bear River.

Shirley and Janet Isles have had the ski jump platform, luge run and Olympic oval ready at their site on the Exhibition Road for most of this week but they don’t plan to finish the sculpting until after the storm.

Still they were out Thursday doing more prep work.

One skater has edged up to the start line on the oval and a ski jumper actually had already had a nasty fall (reminiscent of Humpty Dumpty).

Shirley and Janet were concentrating on the legs of figure skaters Tessa and Scott – they have tarped over their work so far and will finish the whole Olympic display sometime Saturday, they say.

Environment Canada is forecasting snow mixed with ice pellets changing to rain at times heavy for tonight with the temperature rising to plus 8 by morning. They are calling for 10 to 20 mm of rain and strong wind gusting to 50 kmh.

The rain is supposed to change back to flurries Friday afternoon but not until another 10 mm of rain have fallen.

Saturday’s forecast is calling for periods of snow.

The schedule for this year’s winter carnival in Bear River includes art shows, cross- country ski trips and clinics, live music, dinners and a dance plus the open air rink and more snow sculpting contests.

Photos from last year’s snow sculpture contest

jriley@digbycourier.ca

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