JACKSON — Big crowds of spectators turned out for the 19th New Hampshire Sanctioned and Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting competition, held Jan 25-27 at the Black Mountain.
Winner of the four-team N.H. Sanctioned competition was Team Woodard-Allen, comprised of cousins John Allen Woodard, 50, formerly of Freedom and now of Pompton Plains, N.J., and Glenn Woodard, 51, of Tamworth.
They made their first entry as a team into the competition in Jackson last year and won this year for their steampunk owl.
They earned a trip to represent New Hampshire in the 2020 U.S. Nationals in Lake Geneva, Wisc.
Winners of the People’s Choice and of the Jackson Invitational title was the Shafner-Mallette team, made up of Joe and Beth Shafner and friend Stefan Mallette, all of Gloucester, Mass., but with ties to Mount Washington Valley, as Joe's dad is local musician Al “The Rev” Shafner of Glen.
They created a “Defend or Destroy” sculpture of a dragon defending and/or attacking its castle.
The 10 non-New Hampshire entrants voted for the top New Hampshire team to send them to the nationals, and the three New Hampshire teams voted for the top Invitational winners, according to Kathleen Driscoll, executive director of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, which presented the competition in collaboration with local businesses, led by Black Mountain.
“Everyone did a phenomenal job,” said Driscoll at the awards ceremony, held at the Shovel Handle Pub at Whitneys’ Inn on Sunday.
Area businesses donated prizes for participants.
Glenn Woodard — having only gotten into snow sculpting last year with his computer tech savvy cousin John — said he can’t believe he’s now headed to Wisconsin next year.
“I was really surprised. Yeah, we were really pleased. We knew that going with a lot more detail would make a big difference — we hoped it wouldn’t be too much work in the number of days we had,” said Woodard.
“Our design was something my cousin had seen at a restaurant in Florida that was all steampunk. So we gave it a go, and it worked out well.”
He said some of the snow was a bit chunky with icy edges, presenting a challenge.
“But we didn’t have the warm temperatures that we had last year when everything was melting on us,” he added.
As for next year, he said, “I am hoping it is not as cold as it is out there (in Wisconsin) right now!”
Another New Hampshire team was the trio of Kennett High School art teacher and veteran competitor Sandy Hall, Kathleen Fraize and Erin Hunkins McNall of Northwood, who created a snow fairy.
A team of Kennett High students consisting of students Lia Anzaldi, Shannon and Dylan Derby, and Grace Ruddy created a Rapunzel's tower. They won the students' award.
Teams began chipping at 8-foot-tall and 4-foot-wide cylindrical blocks at noon Friday and continued right on up until noon Sunday.
A community welcoming supper was also part of the weekend’s festivities, hosted by the Shannon Door Pub Saturday evening.
The sculptures will remain on display at Black Mountain as long as conditions permit, said Black Mountain owner/general manager John Fichera.
“We’ve got a school group out there right now looking at them,” said Fichera Tuesday afternoon.
For more photos, find Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook or go to jacksonnh.com.