Pete's Dragon created at 10th annual Hancock Winter Festival

Family wins snow-sculpting title for third year in a row

February 12, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Jamie Baker of Big Pool lights up "Pete's Dragon," a snow sculpture the Baker family made together, Saturday during the 10th annual Hancock Winter Festival at Widmeyer Park.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Fire and snow normally don't mix, but that wasn't the case Saturday for the Baker family of Big Pool.

Their fire-breathing snow sculpture, Pete's Dragon, beat out eight others to win best in its category during the 10th annual Hancock Winter Festival.

Christi Baker said she and her husband, Jamie, and their daughters, Adriana, Faith and Jo, spent about two hours making the 7-foot sculpture, which included running a propane line from the back of the sculpture's head to its mouth.

"We're trying to make it three in a row," Christi Baker said before she found out that her family won the festival's snow-sculpting championship. "We're trying to hold onto our reign."

She said her family won the 2010 competition with an elephant sculpture. The year before they won by carving two giraffes.

"It was a neat project," Jamie Baker said of his family's victory. "We put in two hours on it. There aren't too many things like this you can do with your family anymore."

About 125 people attended the festival, which was held at Widmeyer Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to ice sculpting, adults talked around a bonfire, and children crawled through tunnels made from hay bales.

There also was plenty of hot food and beverages to stay warm as a crisp winter wind blew through the park.

"It's just a nice gathering," said Carolyn Breakall, who attended the event with her 9-year-old nephew, David Breakall. "It's fun for the kids. It gets them out .... It's just nice standing around the bonfire talking."

Sinclair Hamilton, chairman of the Hancock Arts Council, said the festival is a way to not only raise money for his organization, but to bring the community together.

"It's an event that people can attend to break up the winter blues," he said. "It gives the kids something to do. It lets them explore their creative potential."

Hamilton said the arts council typically raises $500 to $900 from the festival and uses the money to host events during other parts of the year, such as free concerts and art fairs.

The festival also offers an opportunity to raise money for St. Thomas' Parish in Hancock.

The Rev. Allan Weatherholt said the church funds outreach projects using the money it makes from selling sodas, pot pies and other foods.

"In this tight economy, we're very blessed to be able to raise extra funds," he said.

Weatherholt said the church usually raises about $500 a year from festival concessions.

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