According to judging guidelines established by the National Ice Carving Association (NICA), an ice sculpture must be “top quality and exceptional” in ten different categories to be considered worthy of a gold medal in competition. Gold medals are rare, and ordinarily translate into a victory for the carver who receives one. At this year`s Stowe Winter Carnival ice carving competition, held on the grounds of the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa on January 25, gold only meant that the carver was one of the top three.
The gold medal-winning sculptures were described a “stunning,” “exceptionally creative,” and “masterpieces” by three random members of an audience that totaled around 700, many of whom watched intently for more than six hours as some of the top professional and amateur ice carvers in the country worked their magic.
In addition to the three gold medals awarded, seven silver and two bronze medals were also handed out. In the professional division, the top five finishers and the theme for their sculptures were:
First place, gold—Tony Young, Philadelphia, PA (Swordfish)
Second place, gold—Michael Palumbo, Lowell, MA (Ice Goddess)
Third place, gold—Bill Covitz, Naugatuck, CT (Who`s Chicken Now?)
Fourth place, silver—Jack Bozar, Sheppton, PA (Practice Makes Perfect)
Fifth place, silver—Dennis Beach, Sheppton, PA (Froggie)
Top amateur competitor was Mark Moritz, a chef from the New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont. His sculpture was titled “Floating Amber.”
“We are thrilled to host this outstanding event in its inaugural year. Thanks to the efforts of many people behind the scenes, we were able to make a lot of folks happy and raise a significant amount of money for the Stowe Education Fund. As the word spreads about the competition, we know that next year`s event will be event more heavily attended. This is the start of something special,” said Stoweflake President Chuck Baraw.