Ely, Minnesota - January 20, 2012 - The heart and soul of Ely’s Winter Festival is in jeopardy and area residents may have the answer.
A campaign is underway to bring snow for snow sculptures to Whiteside Park from homes and areas around Ely by the bag or box, in coolers or by the pickup load. Co-director of the International Snow Sculpting Symposium Chris Ellerbroek said he "will be setting up one big form in the park and one at the Front Porch this weekend. I will set up another form in the park if people want to give this a try. The important thing is that we need clean snow."
Although some snow will be brought in from Shagawa Lake, there is not enough snow on the ground to fill the usual 20 wood frames that range is size from 8'x8' to 12'x12'.
Ellerbroek said, "We need to make sure we let people know they can't just drive in the park to dump the snow without coordinating that with me for liability and safety. As long as they don't drive vehicles into the park, they can dump their snow as the poster mentions. We plan to get snow from the lake for the big form and will have a couple small forms that we will try to fill with volunteers bringing snow. We plan to have forms set up over the weekend and would fill early next week."
Ely is a town with a "can-do" attitude and this is one challenge which is low on cost and long on community spirit.