February 29, 2016
Division I team AK Awesome, from Anchorage, took home the win in the 2016 GCI Snow Sculpture Competition, one of many events held during this year’s Fur Rendezvous Winter Festival. Team AK Awesome includes members Wade Pier, Matt Lloyd and Jesse Mellor who will go on to compete on behalf of Alaska at the United States National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in Feb. 2017.
This year’s event was the 32nd annual Snow Sculpture Competition held in conjunction with Fur Rondy. Similar to past years, the weather provided much of the drama. Warm temperatures toward the end of February created urgency among the sculptures as they began carving on Saturday, Feb. 20.
This was the team’s fourth year in a row winning first place and fifth overall win since they began participating in 2009. The winning piece was entitled “Salmonado” and featured a snowy tornado filled with salmon, inspired by the 2013 disaster film “Sharknado.”
“We had a blast conceptualizing this sculpture and carving the final piece,” said Wade Pier, AK Awesome team captain. “We’re even more thrilled to have the opportunity to move on and represent our state on a national level.”
The team will travel to the National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where sculptors from across the country come together to compete in the only national snow sculpting competition in North America. The competition kicks off Lake Geneva’s Winterfest celebration.
GCI is the largest Alaska-based and –operated, integrated telecommunications provider, offering wireless, voice, data, and video services statewide. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.
Heather Handyside, GCI