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Snow sculpture

Snowflakes, Sculptures and Golden Opportunities

Published on Jan 23, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

The 28th Annual Lake Geneva Winterfest is a beloved tradition in this Wisconsin community, drawing in visitors from all over the country to enjoy the festive atmosphere and various winter activities. From snow and ice sculptures to roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on the beach, this festival has something for everyone.




This year, Kunes Auto and RV Group is a proud gold-level sponsor of this family-friendly event. For Kunes, sponsoring an event like Winterfest isn’t just about lending financial support, but about participating in and engaging with the community that we are a part of. 


Kunes will be at Winterfest showing off some of the latest makes and models in autos.  There will be friendly salespeople there to answer any questions you may have, hand out some great Kunes giveaways, and maybe even ask what your favorite sculpture is at the festival.  As a part of the community, Kunes employees look forward to connecting with and getting to know our neighbors.  We would love to meet you, so stop by and see us. 


This year 15 U.S. National Snow Sculpting Teams will vie for the title of champion.  The flakes start flying on Wednesday, February 1st with sculpting ending at 1pm on Saturday, February 4th. 


Learn more about these talented teams by clicking here.


The Results

Kunes Auto Group sponsored team Jay Ray w/SnoKraft of North Dakota in this year’s National Snow Sculpting competition. Since team North Dakota took 3rd place in last year’s event, they were extra determined to win first place this year; which they did!


Jay Ray w/SnoKraft chose to depict a timeless myth that has inspired artists for centuries: The Nemean Lion and Hercules. The sculpture shows a fierce lion attempting to escape Hercules’ grasp. Every detail is carefully carved, from the lion’s claws to the expression on Hercules’ face; it’s no wonder why they took first place in both categories for this event.


The Nemean Lion: The Nemean Lion is a legendary monster in Greek mythology that terrorized the region of Nemea until it was defeated by Hercules. The battle between the two “invincible” beasts has been a source of inspiration for artists for centuries and is represented in the constellation “Leo.” 



Meet The Team


Team captain, Jay Ray, is a carpenter by day and a power log sculptor by night. He started snow carving in 2019 at a local competition in Fargo called “Frostival” and has taken home the winner’s trophy twice. Mike Nelson and Josh Zeis, two other local carvers, have also taken home the Frostival winner’s trophy twice each. The three came together as a team in 2022, to compete against national level contenders at Lake Geneva’s Winterfest.


Mike is a working artist who has participated in several exhibitions and is a co-owner of an art and design studio, Mothership Workshop, specializing in concrete furniture. He has participated in several exhibitions since college and began snow carving competitively at “Frostival.”


Joshua Zeis is an artist and ceramics instructor in Fargo. He is also co-owner of Mothership Workshop and has a Master of Fine Arts degree from George Washington University. Zeis engages veterans and the public in object-oriented dialogue on war and survival and has participated in various residencies and workshops throughout the US.


1st Place and People's Choice winners Team North Dakota: Jay Ray w/SnoKraft 

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