Just ninety miles north of Detroit, the popular Bavarian-themed village of Frankenmuth will host a spectacular showcase of snow and ice sculptures for the annual Zehnder’s Snowfest. Celebrating its 28th year, from January 23 through January 28, more than 100,000 visitors are expected to watch the progress and vote for the top artistic efforts of carving teams from around the country.
“Frankenmuth swells with visitors during Snowfest giving the town a major economic boost,” said Zehnder’s Chairman/CEO Al Zehnder. ”It’s a major effort to stage this event and we especially appreciate the work of volunteers and our staff and all of our sponsors to make it happen. It’s a great way to embrace the season for visitors and residents.”
Snowfest kicks off on Wednesday, January 23 with World Class carvers as they begin to shape gigantic blocks of snow in to works of art; State of Michigan and children snow teams will also be sculpting.
Visitors can take the chill off in the Warming Tent behind Zehnder’s and attend the new “All Things Chocolate Baking Contest” from 10:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and finalists will present their original chocolate cookies, cakes and brownies for judging. There will be door prizes, food samples and demonstrations plus complimentary recipe books and live musical entertainment. Sponsors include Michigan Sugar, Le Creuset®, WSGW/AM and WITL/FM.
High School Snow Sculpting teams begin on January 24 at Frankenmuth Riverplace and public voting starts for the World Class competitors.
On Friday, January 25 visitors can watch the Professional Ice Exhibition team put the finishing touches on the TV5 News Ice Desk and the 100-block Medieval-themed ice village with a castle and dragon. Friday also features the start of the Collegiate Alumni Ice Carving Competition.
The Detroit Tigers Winter Carnival rolls in on Friday at 4:45 p.m. in the Warming Tent. Visitors can meet staff, coaches and players during a question/answer period. Free admission, but sorry, no autographs for this event.
Also on Friday, young visitors can enjoy the Children’s Play Area with a petting zoo and pony rides ($2 per ride), and the Children’s Carnival including a carousel and fun house ($2 per ride).
A variety of music will be heard throughout Snowfest including country, rock and a special performance of the United States 338th Army Band. The annual fireworks display is scheduled for Saturday, January 26 at 6:45 p.m.
There are two ticketed events this year. The first is the Snowfest luncheon on Thursday, January 24 featuring J. Cavataio crooning the tunes of Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and more in the Zehnder’s Main Dining Room. Tickets are $40; reservations: 989-652-0450.
On Monday, January 28, Snowfest concludes with the 28th annual Chef’s Hot Food Competition and Tasting at Zehnder’s restaurant beginning at 6:00 p.m. This year Chinese cuisine is featured. Food will be prepared by local chefs and area culinary students. Sponsored by the American Culinary Federation/Saginaw Valley Chapter, tickets are $30 per person. Proceeds support the Saginaw East Side Soup Kitchen “After School Meal Program”. Reservations: 989-652-0450.
For a complete Snowfest schedule filled with activities, concerts, food, fireworks, entertainment and directions, go to www.zehnderssnowfest.com or Zehnder’s Snowfest on Facebook.
All scheduled outdoor activities and events may be changed due to weather conditions.