Snow Days Chicago

February 12, 2009 5:15:17 AM PST
Stop the Presses; Snow Comes to Chicago in February Inaugural Snow Days Chicago in Grant ParkSnow is coming to Chicago's Grant Park this February.

The City of Chicago and the Mayor's Office of Special Events has big plans for this delivery of flakes when it hosts the Inaugural Snow Days Chicago, a snow sculpting competition and festival, in collaboration with Snow Visions, Inc., Thursday, February 12-Monday, February 16 in the Spirit of Music Garden located at Balbo and Michigan, 11a.m.-8p.m. daily. (Snow Days Chicago will close at 6p.m. on Monday, February 16.)

Professional snow sculptors will work in teams to create 15 unique sculptures crafted out of man-made snow. Attendees to the festival will have the opportunity to vote on the best sculpture created by teams of artists from the Chicago area as well as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, plus one team from Mexico City. Sculpting from blocks of snow on site will begin the day before the festival opens to the public and attendees will have the chance to vote on the works of art and snow starting on February 13 and February 14 until 2p.m. An awards ceremony will happen at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (610 S. Michigan) at 3p.m.

"It's important during the winter months to offer children and their families positive activities that they can do together," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "This event not only embraces the fun of the season, but also highlights the many promising artists found in our Chicago Public Schools."

The Chicago Public Schools will participate with teams of student sculptors creating original snow works of art. The student teams will represent the following high schools: Kenwood Academy; Lane Tech High School; Hyde Park Academy; Bronzeville Scholastic Institute and Northside College Preparatory. Joining them and guiding them will be student groups from Vanguard High School in Arlington Heights and from Palatine High School in Palatine, both previous winners snow sculpting competitions.

Snow Days Chicago will feature numerous activities including snowboarding demonstrations 6-8p.m. daily, plus a competition on Saturday night at 6p.m. Since becoming an Olympic sport, snowboarding has seen tremendous growth in popularity and Chicago's own talent pool is rich with the best young snowboarders in the country including snowboarders from the Raging Buffalo Snowboard/Ski Park USASA Team.

The dog days of summer become the dog days of winter at Snow Days Chicago. Festival attendees can enjoy demonstrations of dog sled racing and weight pulling with Siberian Huskies. Demonstrations are hourly, 11am-6pm, and provided by Green Valley Dog Drivers.

Crafts and storytelling for kids will focus on the many events of the month, highlighting the celebrations of President's Day, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, African American History Month and Valentine's Day. Food and hot beverage booths will also be available on site at the event.

The Essex Inn will make it easy to spend Snow Days in Chicago with an overnight package that includes an $89 double occupancy rate at the hotel located at 800 South Michigan Avenue just one block south of the festival.

Snow Days Chicago is produced in conjunction with Snow Visions, Inc. which has produced the event in various Chicago suburbs over the last four years.

Snow Days Chicago is presented by the City of Chicago and The Mayor's Office of Special Events and sponsored in part by Orange Crush, The Essex Inn, T-Mobile, 104.3 Jack-FM, WBBM Newsradio 780, and Radio Disney, in association with the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Public Schools.

For more information, visit or call 312.744.3370; TTY 312.744.2964

Snow Days Chicago
Spirit Music Garden
Balbo and Michigan
Thursday- Mon.

Walt Willey at Zanies:
Zanies Downtown
1548 N. Wells St.
Thursday night, 7pm & 9pm

Zanies Vernon Hills
Tomorrow, 8pm

Zanies St. Charles
Saturday, 7:30pm