December 20, 2008

Snow-carving highlights afternoon at the Square

There was a lot going on Saturday at Monument Square, but the biggest event was a snow-carving demonstration by Jeff Shawhan and Jim Malkowski, two champion snow sculptors.

They started at noon with a 4' x 4' x 8' tall block of snow ... and by 4 p.m. it was an honest-to-goodness replica of Santa Claus coming down a chimney, dragging a big bag of toys. Except for a small "diet" that Santa suffered when some snow broke off his ample stomach, they made it look far too easy, as they took turns with various parts of the sculpture.

Photo above shows Santa nearing completion. Below is the rough drawing they started with; and below that Malkowski works on Santa's face early in the day. Today's demonstration was just a light workout for the two carvers, who will participate in a championship event in the Dells in January.

Snow-carving wasn't all that was going on. Below are two photos showing the Christmas caroling skills of the Racine Montessori School Choir, performing first, Do you hear what I hear, and then Jingle Bells. They were too adorable for words -- and they sang well, too.

And, of course, it wouldn't be Santa Saturday -- as the Downtown Racine Corporation dubbed the event they orchestrated -- without Santa himself making an appearance, along with Mrs. Claus, an elf and some reindeer. And Christmas trees and wreaths for sale.

I'm still not sure who these guys, below, represent, but they had enough holiday spirit to go around.

And, finally, there was a big pile of snow on Monument Square -- it has to be put somewhere -- and the kids made good use of it (amid cries of "Be careful," from their parents.)

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