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Winter festival attracts hundreds for snow play

February 15, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Scott True packed down snow, rounded out the sides and raked away chunks that had fallen off.

When he was done, he stepped back and looked at the large sculpture he played a part in creating.

"It's the Cub Scout sign," True said of the sculpture of a hand depicting a gesture that resembled the "peace" and "victory" sign.

"People called it a bunny rabbit," said True's 8-year-old daughter, Tatum.

True and his daughter were two of dozens of people who took part in Saturday's snow sculpture contest at the Hancock Winter Festival at Widmeyer Memorial Park.

The festival, in its third year, was sponsored by the Hancock Arts Council.

Hope Cucina, an event organizer, said about 450 people attended the event.

True and several others representing Cub Scout Pack 15 worked on the sculpture from 10 a.m. to noon.

He said he enjoyed helping out with the creation, even though the group didn't receive much cooperation from the snow.

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"It turned out to be a little crusty," True said. "It actually turned out to be an ice sculpture instead of a snow sculpture."

Cucina said the snow sculpture contest was non-competitive and that all teams that participated would receive gifts made by members of the Arts Council.

"It's a good community event," True said.

Throughout the park, sculptures lined paths in the snow and participants kept busy chiseling away at their creations.

One team shaped a pile of snow into two large slabs bearing the Ten Commandments.

Another team created a sculpture of SpongeBob SquarePants, while one group made a snowman sunbathing in flip-flops, sunglasses and holding a bottle of suntan lotion.

Shirley Younker of Hancock and 10-year-old Tanaya Fox of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., were among a team of at least six people who turned a mound of snow into a several-foot long turtle.

Tanaya said the turtle's name was "Crush."

"It really wasn't hard," Younker said.

"The biggest part - the body - it was already there mostly," Tanaya said. "We just packed it down."

The group also added color to the snow to make "Crush" green and brown.

Tanaya said she likes the Hancock Winter Festival and has participated in the snow sculpture contest since it began.

"It's fun because all the kids get together and get to play in the snow," Tanaya said.

"There are some cute things here," Younker said of the sculptures.

Cucina said the festival continues to offer more events every year.

The event also included a snowball pitch; a Chili Bowl Contest; a hat parade; and music by Mike Klingerman, the Tri-State Civic Band and the Hancock High School band.

Cucina said the festival is popular with residents because it stresses a fun, community environment.

"All that is as basic as water and air," Cucina said. "As you can see, no one's fussing."

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