2020 Ice Carving Competition Results

Results from the 2020 Ice Carving Competition are in! This is a historic year for the competition as the first all-female team competed and took first place in the multi-block division! All-female team, Ice CaBabes, created the sculpture, “Charlotte Makes A Wish” featuring a giant spider! Team leader, Deneena Hughes, has participated in the Winter Carnival’s Multi-Block Ice Carving Competition many times before, but on teams with men. 

Top row, left to right – Nancy Petroske, Deneena Hughes Bottom row, left to right – Sarah Butala, Sally Wightkin

Other results include: 


2nd – Winter Carnival Carousel 

  • John Cooper
  • John Njoes
  • John Matis
  • Tim Moore

3rd – Grand Theft Carnival 

  • Terry Reis
  • Rob Graham
  • Brody Reis
  • AJ Edwards

Single Block Professional 

1st – The Dive, Tom Schiller
2nd – Dreams of the Dragon, John Njoes
3rd – Eagle & Fish, Greg Schmotzer

Single Block Artisan

1st – The Elephant Gardener 

  • Taylor Richmond
  • Steven Richmond

2nd – Making a New Friend

  • Jim Zupfer
  • Nate Stromberg

3rd – Sea Turtle 

  • Tom Klug

Some more information about the competition: 

One of Winter Carnival’s signature and most photographed events, the Ice Carving Competition returns to add sparkle to Rice Park. The public is welcome to observe the teams and individuals transform huge blocks of ice and turn them into beautiful masterpieces. In-progress and completed creations will be on view throughout the Winter Carnival.

Using an array of traditional and non-traditional art tools (did you know a hot clothes iron makes ice clear and smooth?); the artists will compete for prizes and bragging rights.

Both team and individual competitions are guided by a strict set of rules, requiring artists to utilize their best creative thinking. Additionally, competitor’s sculptures must be consistent with a sketch that was proposed. Judging criteria also includes originality, attention to detail, technical difficulty and the utilization of the ice.

Multi-Block Ice Carving Competition: Thursday, Jan. 23 through Saturday, Jan. 25

Each contestant or team will be given 48 hours and 20 blocks of ice sized approximately 40” x 20” x 10”. Finished carvings must be no more than 12’ above the ground and no wider than 12’ by 10’. This year’s competition will begin at 7 p.m. on January 23 and will end at 7 p.m. on January 25. 

Individual Artisan & Professional Ice Carving Competition presented by the Minnesota Lottery: Sunday, Jan. 26  

Each individual competitor, both professional and artisans, will receive 1.5 – 2, 10” x 20” x 40” blocks of ice to turn into their own dazzling display of skilled artistry. As a timed challenge, sculptors will begin no earlier than 9 a.m. The pros will need to complete their work by 2 p.m. for judging and the artisans have until 3 p.m.