Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Chamber Expands Winterfest – Revives Snow Sculptures


January 4, 2018

SEELEY LAKE – Winterfest and snow sculptures are back again in Seeley Lake this winter thanks to the Seeley Lake Chamber of Commerce. The event, now officially called Montana Winterfest in Seeley Lake, has expanded from the last two weeks in January to include and promote all of the events through January and February. The chamber's goal is to bring Seeley Lake into the spotlight, take advantage of all the gorgeous snow, and get the word out that Seeley Lake is the place to be in the winter.

The name Montana Winterfest in Seeley Lake was the phrases that evolved out of the October General Membership meeting.

"We liked how it sends the message that winter is a great time to visit Montana, and Seeley Lake is the place to come and enjoy the Winterfest slate of activities," wrote chamber board member Cheryl Lewis in an email.

Lewis indicated in her email that the chamber board wanted to have plenty of time to showcase all of the events happening in January and February while still retaining the name "Winterfest" which is how many visitors have known it.

"We are working to promote all of the events, whether they are sponsored by chamber members or not, through print advertising and radio spots," wrote Lewis.

After last year's hiatus from the snow sculpture competition, the chamber is again partnering with Alpine Artisans, Inc. and extending the competition to anyone who wants to participate.

"In deciding which aspects of previous Winterfests we would be able to manage, our board felt that snow sculptures are worth the effort, due to its popularity," wrote Lewis. "We feel it is a big draw to get people to come to Seeley, and we hope folks will be pleased to hear we are not limiting the sculpture construction and display to downtown only."

Anyone, anywhere in Seeley Lake is encouraged to enter in four categories: professional, family, business or snow person/snowman. There is no theme. Sculptors are encouraged to take a photo of their sculpture and put it with the sculpture for judging and visitors.

Registration forms are available at the Grizzly Claw and on the Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's and Grizzly Claw Trading Co's Facebook pages. The forms are due Jan. 8 and maps will be available Jan. 20.

Judging starts at 12 p.m. Jan. 20. The first, second and third place winners will be announced at the chamber and AAI's Movie Night Jan. 20 at the Seeley Lake Community Hall and cash prizes will be awarded.

Also new to this year's Montana Winterfest in Seeley Lake is the inaugural Chamber Chill Plunge, a chamber fundraiser to be held at Tamaracks Resort on Seeley Lake Feb. 17.

"We envision it being a super-fun event, where participants can dress up in wacky costumes and take the plunge!  The monetary pledges they will obtain can then be based on how well they fulfill the requirements of the pledge," wrote Lewis. "The sky's the limit, and imagination is encouraged!"

The chamber will be sharing the proceeds with Meals on Wheels.

Lewis wrote, "We have chosen to "share the wealth" with Meals on Wheels, because we feel this is a worthy and needed service that we want to support."

For the full list of events see pages 8-9. More information will also be available on the chamber website, or visit


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