BUTTE - The chisels and chippers have been put away and ice carvings have emerged on the streets of Uptown Butte after Butte's 21st Annual Ice Carving Contest was held on Saturday, December 11, thanks to several small business ice sponsors.
According to a press release, there are now Santas, Teddy Bears, Pheasants, Trout, pineapples, and a Martini among other creations decorating Uptown sidewalks.
The judges cast a cold eye and selected the best of the best in four categories --
Grand Prize – Clayton and Connor Heggem “Pheasant Hunting” at Steele’s Furniture, 800 S. Wyoming Street (on Utah Ave. side).
Master 1st – Frank Hall “The Grinch” at Richest Hill Casino, 20 W. Galena St.
Master 2nd – Justin Deshazo “Perfect Storm” at Daniel Insurance Agency, 18 W. Galena Street
Adult 1st – Kelly McGonigal “Unicycle Barista” at Park and Main Café, 8 W. Park Street
Adult 2nd – Ethan Heggem/Aubrey Teller “Native Float” at Steele’s Furniture at 800 S. Wyoming Street (on Utah Ave. side)
Rookie 1st – Ty Hodges/Ben DeWeert “Batmobile” at NorthWestern Energy, 11 E. Park Street
Rookie 2nd – Nate Watson/Ashley Leister “Christmas Teddy Bear” at BSB Courthouse, 155 W. Granite Street
The 21st Annual Ice Sculpting Contest is one of several events throughout the year organized and presented by Mainstreet Uptown Butte, including the Butte Farmers' Market returning next May, and the Montana Folk Festival, returning next July 8-10.
The credit for the success of the ice carving contest began two decades ago as the brainchild of Barb Fink and now rests on the shoulders of master carver and event coordinator Corey Gransbery of Absolute Zero Design and with the businesses that sponsor ice blocks each year, and to the talented carvers and judges who participate.
The contest has distributed more than $2,000 in prizes in the form of Uptown Bucks and trophies. In all, there are now more than $3,000 in Uptown Bucks in the hands of shoppers that will soon be appearing in Uptown businesses to be redeemed.
For more information, including images and video of the ice carvings, visit Facebook at uptownbutte [facebook.com] or visit Uptown Butte from Granite Street to Front Street while they last and see them for yourself.