Sapporo Snow Festival
Photo: Hassaku/Pixta

Sapporo Snow Festival cancels its annual snow sculpture contest for 2021

No snowy replicas of iconic buildings around the world, but the winter festival is planning to go online instead
Written by
Emma Steen

With new cases of coronavirus on the rise across Japan, many organisers have made the decision to call off large-scale events for the rest of the season, including the upcoming Sapporo Snow Festival, which was scheduled to kick off in January 2021.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo’s mountainous ski resorts attract avid skiers and snowboarders by the thousands every winter with spacious slopes capped with fresh powder, but the city of Sapporo has its own unique feature in the snow season that leaves us Tokyoites with mouths agape in awe. 

Sapporo Snow Festival

The city’s annual snow festival features every activity you could hope for in a winter wonderland, from ice skating to snowball fights. The highlight, however, is always the monumental snow sculpture contest, where teams from all over the world gather to build the most impressive snow statues possible. These aren’t your average igloos or snow angels, either. Picture stark white colosseums made of tightly packed bricks of snow and meticulously detailed dragons with each scale painstakingly carved across their long torsos. 

Sapporo Snow Festival
Photo: Snow Festival

Alas, now that the snow sculpture contest has been scrapped for the next event, winter-loving hopefuls might have to make do with a scaled down online event, with details yet to be confirmed. 

News of the cancellation makes for a sour cherry topping on what was already a stale cake of a year, but fingers crossed the time off will give competitors that extra boost of motivation to push the limits on their entries for 2022.

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