Snowtown USA wraps up with surprisingly sunny weather

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WATERTOWN — On an unseasonably warm, sunny and windy Sunday, Thompson Park came alive for the last day of the Snowtown USA winter festival.

Sculptors were finishing their snow sculptures, which transformed from blocks of snow on Thursday to works of art by midday Sunday.

Amid strong wind gusts and 40-degree weather, about 70 degrees warmer than conditions early Saturday, the sculptors used brushes, sandpaper, handmade tools and icebreakers to shape their snow sculptures. All said the warm weather made their work more difficult, weakening the snow and dramatically changing its texture.

“It was hard as ice yesterday, but too cold to really work on anything, and now its warm and we’re losing details,” said Josh Howland, who was creating a sculpture of The Incredible Hulk.

The snow sculpture, like the others, weighs approximately a ton, and Mr. Howland began asking visitors to stand away from the art piece as its legs came into form, at risk of it toppling over.

Across the way, the final pieces of Kristy “Askins” Hoover’s sculpture, Black River Rafter, Hole Brothers Surf “Swimmers,” came together. Ms. Hoover, who is a professor at SUNY Oswego and owner of the Orion art gallery, created the piece as a tribute to Black River whitewater rafting, which she has been a part of for years.

Ms. Hoover said the piece is built with melting in mind, and the half-tipped raft will slowly topple further over as it melts, completing the scene in slow motion.

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