Berthoud Snowfest begins

Volunteers work to construct the large snow blocks that will be used in the Snow Sculpting Competition Thursday through Saturday. The event is the anchor to the inaugural Berthoud Snowfest that also includes the annual Parade of Lights Saturday night along Mountain Avenue. Berthoud Weekly Surveyor photo

Volunteers work to construct the large snow blocks that will be used in the Snow Sculpting Competition Thursday through Saturday. The event is the anchor to the inaugural Berthoud Snowfest that also includes the annual Parade of
Lights Saturday night along Mountain Avenue.
Berthoud Weekly Surveyor photo

By Surveyor staff

It’s here. The inaugural Berthoud Snowfest started Wednesday and continues through Saturday night.

The Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with Grace Place Church to create Berthoud Snowfest – an event that combines the traditional Christmas in Berthoud fundraiser and Parade of Lights with a snow-sculpting competition and several new activities for the community.

The change to this year’s event stemmed from Berthoud’s acquisition of the sanctioned Colorado Snow Sculpting competition, an event previously known as Loveland’s Snow Sculpture in the Dark.

Cofounders of the competition, Steve Mercia and Kerry Ertman, were looking for a new location to host their event this year and are excited to bring the event to Berthoud.

Deanne Mulvihill, executive director for the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce, said she’d been searching for just such as event to spruce up the town’s holiday line-up.

“We look for events that will bring business to Berthoud,” said Mulvihill. “We have the opportunity to bring wholesome Christmas excitement to Mountain Avenue and Fickel Park this year.”

Kids will have the chance to take part in the snow festivities as well this year, with their own sculpting competition. Teams of three can sign up to carve a bucketful of snow using nothing but a car ice-scraper.

“We want to include the whole community,” said Mulvihill. “We’ll form groups of local judges and try to keep things relaxed and fun.”

In addition to the snow-packed events taking place Dec. 14-17: Santa Claus will be at the Berthoud Community Center from 2:30 – 4 p.m., and the annual Parade of Lights returns Saturday night on Mountain Avenue, and everyone’s invited to participate.

“The parade is a tradition now,” said Mulvihill. “It’s the only lighted parade that Berthoud’s ever had.” She advised participants to start gathering battery or generator- powered lights early.

“You don’t need to have a business to walk, bike, horseback ride, or bring a float to the parade,” said Mulvihill. “All you need is some form of light, and you can join in on the fun.”

As of Monday, Mulvihill said there’s still time to sign up for the parade.

“We’d love to have more entries in our lighted parade,” Mulvihill said.

For those interested in participating in the parade, an entry form is available online at berthoudcolorado.com.

After the parade the show moves to Fickel Park for the lighting of the Christmas trees and caroling performances by local churches.

Throughout the weekend holiday vendors from previous years at Grace Place will be set up at Berthoud Community Center at 248 Welch Ave., and some new participants are expected to join in as well this year.

Additionally, snow sculptors will be making special appearances at local restaurants throughout Snowfest, mingling with the crowd and signing autographs. A complete list of the teams and where they’ll be eating is available at Berthoudsnowfest.com.

Home and storefront decorating competitions are also in the works, and hay rides will be available on Dec. 17. Mulvihill encouraged guests to take a ride downtown and support local restaurants and vendors.

For more information and a complete list of events and times visit www.berthoudsnowfest.com.