CAN YOU IMAGINE how impressed I would be if ever I viewed the Saint Paul Winter Carnival snow and ice sculptures?
Up until Sunday, the only ice sculptures familiar to me clung to milkhouse and house rooflines or clumped like frozen waterfalls along bluffs in the Mississippi RiverValley.
In the winters of my youth, when winter truly was winter with mountains of snow from which to build forts and an abundance of icicles from which to grab swords, I welcomed the season.
The clash of icicle against icicle in a swordfight with my brothers and sisters entertained me between rounds of shoving manure into gutters and feeding cows and bedding straw and carrying pails of steaming milk replacer to calves huddled in the calf barn.
That and memories of boot-skating across patches of frozen water in the farmyard and along the edges of the cornfield encompassed my general experiences with ice.
For the first time, I viewed ice as anything but Nature’s art or a source of youthful entertainment or a peril to be avoided.
Just south of the Waseca County Courthouse, partially in the shadow of a downtown building and along busy State Street/Minnesota Highway 13, artists Adam Scholljegerdes and Joe Christenson, with assistance from their families, crafted a horse and sleigh from ice blocks in celebration of Waseca’s 62nd annual Sleigh and Cutter Festival.
She’s a beauty.
Of course, I have nothing with which to compare this work of art. But suffice to say that the pair’s rendition of a horse pulling a sleigh impressed me, my husband and plenty of others who stopped to photograph the ice sculpture, even sit on the sleigh and pet the horse.
This ice sculpture is a new addition to the annual winter festival which spans several weeks and weekends in February. This year’s fest, which included events like snowmobile races, card tournaments, ice fishing and a parade, runs through February 19. One final event, a Children’s Dream Catcher fundraiser for terminally-ill children in the Waseca area, is set for March 24.
For now, the ice sculpture serves as a visual focal point for the Sleigh and Cutter Festival.
Make haste, I say, if you want to view this temporary work of art in rural southern Minnesota.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling