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Weather Impacts Ice Sculpture Making At Winter Carnival

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Warmer weather put a damper on the multi-block ice carving contest at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

It’s a 48-hour event, but Thursday’s sunshine took away some precious hours from competitors.

“The biggest problem is the thing they call candling, which is actually the sun getting into the ice and refracting. It sort of breaks it apart from the inside out,” John Njoes, a competitor in the carving contest.

And since they couldn’t work, a lot of the competitors figured there was no sense standing around in the cold.

“We’re the oldest guys on the block, so we had to take our afternoon nap,” said Terry Reis, who’s in his 29th year at the Winter Carnival. “We came back at 6 p.m. and did it till about 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Even with the reduced hours, Reis has something big planned for the judges.

“It’s going to be the ‘Das Winter Icemaken Machine.’ Dr. Seuss will be up on the ladder, loading blocks into [the machine], and on the other end we’re going to have snowflakes coming out, all touching each other, down to the ground,” said Reis.

It’s an ambitious plan, and as of Friday afternoon, Reis and his team still had lots of work ahead of them, but not a whole lot of sleep.

“Each year I get older and older and I go ‘Wow, I don’t know why I’m still doing this,’” said Reis.

The competition runs through 9 a.m. on Saturday, but you can view the sculptures, weather permitting, through the end of carnival on Feb. 6.

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