It turns out that our trip to Florida in February of 2012 would change our lives more than we ever could have imaged. Two weeks after getting back from Florida a big snow storm hit the Twin Cities.. SNOW DAY!
YEAR 1: We woke up the morning of February 29, 2012 and started discussing what we should do, and an idea popped into our head, “lets build a snow sculpture.” The Question was, “what should we build”. The Florida trip was still fresh on our mind and we remembered when Austin caught a puffer fish off the dock. “Ok lets build a puffer fish!” That was the extent of our discussion, no drawing, no blueprints, just 3 brothers with a end goal in mind. 8 hours later, we had 6 foot tall puffer fish sitting in our front yard. Puffy the Puffer fish was his name. The next day that we realized that our puffer fish was getting lots attention from the neighbors, so we sent a picture into the news. WCCO responded, and within hours a reporter was in our front yard interviewing us... and that’s how it all started! We made a light stand and a viewing station so that people could come check it out for themselves.
Link to the WCCO puffer fish interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtzDALF7CvE
Snow Puffer Fish '2012'
YEAR 2: Wally the Walrus. He stood over 12 feet tall. Last year we thought this was going to be a one-time project, but now it was now winter of 2013 and we thought, “let’s do another one!” We wanted to stick with the same sea life theme, so we decided to construct a walrus. A walrus was going to be easily recognizable but also it is also a creature that we could put our own “unique twist” on. We were going for more of a animated look. This year we decided not to make a viewing station, we wanted people to get up close and take pictures with him. This was the year that we discovered the process of heating up the snow by putting it in the garage. We would fill up the garage with snow and heat it up for about 40 minutes, this would make the snow to the perfect “snowball quality snow”. By doing this, we were able to mimic warm temperatures which allowed us to make our own “sticky” snow.
Link to the time lapse video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxkbUrTJFwg
Snow Walrus '2013'
YEAR 3: Sharky the Shark. In 2014 we wanted to step up our game, we wanted to go bigger! He stood 16 feet tall, 25 feet long and 9 feet wide. He took about 95 hours to complete. We continued to use the process of heating up the snow in the garage. Ellen featured us on her facebook page (this was a big deal for us).
Link to the Time Lapse Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EogNde6XUJQ
Snow Shark '2014'
YEAR 4: Snappy the Turtle. He stood 12 feet tall and took over 300 hours to build. We got the snow from 11 neighbor’s yards and from a nearby tennis court. This was the first year that we used a trailer to haul snow, we would shovel it into the trailer and then park in in front of the sculpture and shovel it out. Snappy was 37 feet long and 31 feet wide. This year we decided to make a time lapse video of his construction.
Link to the Turtle Time Lapse Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmI4QQGHX2A
Snow Turtle '2015'
YEAR 5: Octavius the Octopus. This year we wanted to have a bigger impact so we partnered with the organization One Days Wages to raise money for clean water. Our goal was to raise $10,000 for clean water in Haiti. We raised $17,267. Our favorite features were the tentacle over the front steps, and the tentacle by the street that visitors could walk into. We were on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Live on the Weather Channel. Octavious took us 500 hours to construct and stood 18 feet tall. We shoveled and hauled all the snow from our neighbor’s yards, church parking lots and the nearby tennis courts.
Link to a video tour around the Octopus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heLRE3LVzq4
Snow Octopus '2016'
YEAR 6: Finnegan the Fish, our biggest sculpture to date. 350 hours went into its creation, he stood 22 feet tall. The name came from when the tail fell over while we were working on it, thus the name Finnegan was born. We hauled and shoveled all the snow from a nearby church parking lot and our neighbors’ yards. It was very cold during the whole building process so all of the snow used for detail work and the outer shell was put in the garage, to warm it up and make it that good “snowball quality snow”. Our goal this year was to raise $25,000 for clean water in Malawi Africa, and with help from all our fans we reached this goal on National Water Day. How Fitting! This year we had the privilege to film with the Travel Channel and be apart of a documentary about the worlds best snow sculptures.
Link to the time lapse of the build: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXMO8IHwaKc
Snow Fish '2017'
YEAR 7: Diggs the Lobster....2018 was a real challenge. We started on January 11 and only had 6 days to finish! It was January 11 and our biggest snowfall was only 2 inches. It was looking like this years’ sculpture wasn't going to happen. BUT, thats when Matt Wienzetl and the City of New Brighton stepped in and offered to bring in dump truck loads of snow! Our Friends Seth Hanson & Caleb Kroeze also spent many hours helping, without them it would not have happened. How did we choose the name? We named it after the Vikings Stefon Diggs’ game winning catch in the NFL playoffs. Our fans voted for which name they liked the best. Diggs took about 250 hours to build, and he stands 19 feet tall. This year we figured out a new method for putting snow in the garage, when we put “puffy” snow in the garage “sticky” snow would come out 10 minutes later. This was much faster than the previous way we did it. We would have somebody in the garage about 15 hours a day turning and prepping the snow. This year we raised $16,201 for clean water around the world. The amount of visitors we had this year greatly increased.
Snow Lobster '2018'
YEAR 8: Slinky the Snail, 2019 was a big challenge yet again, due to the weather. We had to take a week-long break in the middle of our work period due to no snow. We started the sculpture on December 3, and finished it by January 1. Wondering how we got all the snow? A local landscape company, Scenic Grounds landscaping brought in 3 dump truck loads of snow, also a neighbor Andrew used his Bobcat to load snow in our dump trailer. For all the detail work we got the snow from a local abandoned Walmart parking lot. We brought a lot of the snow in the garage to warm it up, so we could bring it outside and it would freeze solid on the sculpture. Our friends Seth Hanson & Caleb Kroeze helped us out again, they are the best! In total, the sculpture took us over 600 man hours, standing over 23 feet tall. This year we partnered with One Days Wages again to provide clean water to communities in Vietnam, we raised over $31,000! The sculpture was totally melted on April 28.
Link to the time lapse of the build: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O0QRHl9mmo
Snow Snail '2019'
Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years!
-The Bartz Bros