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Fox on a Log took second place in the ice sculpture competition at the 12th annual Keene Ice & Snow Festival Saturday. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)

Mother Nature provided the cold while sculptors reshaped the ice in Keene

KEENE - Winter weather worked in favor of the 12th annual Keene Ice & Snow festival this year.

Last year, the festival was canceled because of warm temperatures, and the year before that ice sculptors had to race against melting ice to complete their works.

This year, however, was "nice and cold," said ice-carving competition judge Vernon Hornblad of Keene.

"Excellent conditions . very good, the sun is always a little bit of an issue, but it was below freezing," said ice sculptor Dave Soha of Manchester.

Unfortunately for Soha, the base of his Sail Fish sculpture gave way just after he finished it.

"I just torched it and I was really happy with the way it turned out, but I had it on (a) small base," he said.

Ice sculptors use torches to get a clear ice affect, he said. "It's covered with snow from all the power tools and (the torching) makes it clear."

Sculptures also use torches to fuse pieces of ice together, such as the way sculptor Dennis Hickey fused a tail onto his Flying Monkey, which took third place.

Fox on a Log, by Michael Legassey Jr., took second place and Native American and Eagle by Mark Bosworth captured first.

Seven sculptures were entered into the competition.

The Snow Sculpture Competition had two entries, Emily Sodders came in first place, and Keene High School Interact came in second.

The other judges were Monadnock International Film Festival Executive Director Laina Barakat and Ryan Ullrich of Westmoreland.


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