Festival Pin Carving  ~  In front of The Front Porch Coffee & Tea Company

The few remaining pieces were reworked. This is how it ended up.

The last step was carving through the piece to create more negative space. This was when it fell.

The original design in the shape of a nautilus was designed so the viewer could step into it.

Carving was satisfying, challenging and disappointing. Prior to the festival we had more than a month of below zero weather with plenty of snow. The two factors created snow blocks that had pure white snow that was easy to carve with no ice chunks. However, the sub zero weather did not allow the snow to set up into hard blocks. It was not unusual to discover a soft spot that could destabilized the entire carving. Two of the carvings my team created this year fell just as they were completed. In both cases an abstract piece was created from what was left.

Golden Fibonacci Spiral  ~  Carved in Whiteside Park

2015 ~  Cat In The Hat

Nancy is a Professional Snow Carver

in Ely, Minnesota's Annual
Winter Festival and Snow Carving Symposium

As part of the festival a Snow Carving Symposium (not a contest) is held, which brings international professional snow carver's together. Each carving team is given an eight or twelve foot square block of snow to carve. Carving starts on Thursday and is completed by Sunday afternoon. For more information about this and other events go to the Ely Winter Festival web site.


2015 Festival Pin

This years pin was a creative challenge and required the carvers to be inside it just as much as outside to create it. We were all very pleased with the outcome, particularly the way it looked in the evening with the street light on it.

Pam Davis and Kit Wilson


Nancy Scheibe, 

Heidi Favet,

Doug Scheibe

2003  ~  Penguin Song

2002  ~  Snow Balls

2009  ~  Ice Dancing

2011  ~  Bookworms

2012  ~  Pepe le Pew

Cat In the Hat Team:

Nancy Scheibe, Kit Wilson, Heidi Favet, Kitty Kennedy, and not pictured - Pam Davis, Sara Guy-Levar, Wade Pharr and VCC students who helped move the snow.

To create the Cat In The Hat  and have the Lorax nearby we had to extend our block so the two components would not be on top of each other.

Winter Festival Pin 

at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Kitty Kennedy, Mitch Bockman, Karen & Duane Friedrich, Carol Orban

2004  ~  A Snowy Ride

2005  ~  Pelican

2008  ~  Thomas the Tank Engine

2010  ~  Friends

2013  ~  The Old Woman and the Shoe

The penguins stood eight feet tall. Nancy's first year as a professional carver. The weather and snow were good. We discovered a crack running through the neck of the mother penguin so the position of her head was changed from the original design. The original plan had her be singing up to the heavens like the papa penguin. Resting her beak on the baby penguins head was enough to keep her head on.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Jolie Ensign, LeDoux

Winter Festival Pin 

at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Kit Wilson, Pamela Davis, Greg Knipe

2007  ~  Elephant Fun

Winter Festival Pin 

at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Kitty Kennedy, Mitch Bockman

2006  ~  Hippo On Ice

Nancy Scheibe ~ Artist

There was a lot of laughter this year as the hippo came to life. The weather and the snow were perfect.

Winter Festival Pin 

at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Kitty Kennedy, Mitch Bockman

The pelican stood eight

feet tall. It was a tough

year. The weather turned

warm and the snow

became mush. Many

of the carvings in the park

fell, or parts fell off right

away. New carvings were

created from what was

left. At times carvers

stood in water while they

carved. This carving was originally titled "Got Ya" because there was a fish hanging out of its mouth. It fell off right away.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Heidi Favet and Barb VanHauer

The pin carving moments before it came down. Detail not carved in yet.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Stephanie Bish, Heidi Favet.

The elephant stood nine feet tall. It was bitter cold. We carved in temperatures averaging 30 degrees below zero. The cold made the snow exceptional, but staying warm was a challenge.

Rising from the chunks remaining we created this abstract design.

To receive an invitation to be a professional snow carver one must first win the amateur contest. Each contestant is given a four foot block of snow to work with. Nancy won her invitation to join the professional carvers with this monkey holding snowballs. Pictured with Nancy is her daughter Naomi Lepore.

Winter Festival Pin 

at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Britani Kayala

Moments after it fell.

Carvers:  Doug and Nancy Scheibe

This carving was eight

feet tall, four feet wide

and sixteen feet long.

The temperatures never

went above 28 degrees

below zero and it was

windy. The snow was

exceptional, which

allowed for taking

risks. At one point the

scarf projected three feet

off the back in mid air, until Nancy accidentally leaned on it.

Thomas the Tank Engine was eight feet tall and thirteen feet long. It was designed so kids could go into the cab of the train. Weather and snow were perfect.

Zip Zoom Zip Beep Beep  ~  In Whiteside Park

Due to some physical limitations this year carving was frustrating at times. I am not used to having other people do the heavy work for me. My son Wade Pharr stepped in several times. It was the first time we had carved together since 2002. The weather was perfect. The snow was good, but there were some rather large pockets with no snow - they

                          were usually in a critical area and

                          required a lot of repacking and

                          waiting for the snow to set up again. 

Winter Festival mascot the Voyageur

Carver: Nancy Scheibe

Winter Festival Pin 

at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Kitty Kennedy, Mitch Bockman

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Stephanie Bish, Jolie Ensign

This carving stood eleven feet tall. We began by adding three feet to the top of the eight foot block of snow. Carving was great to begin with, but it grew too warm and adjustments had to be made. Our adjustments proved futile - her arms fell off. The weather continued to get warmer and two days after carving was finished most of the carvings in the park fell.

Carvers: Heidi Favet, Nancy Scheibe, Stephanie Bish, Alanna Dore

It was a good year for carving - weather cold enough for good snow and warm enough for comfort.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe, Heidi Favet, Alanna Dore, Stephanie Bish

20th Anniversary of the

Ely Winter Festival

This year the carvers had a theme to inspire them - literature. We focused on children's literature. The weather started out perfect and quickly turned warm and snowy.

Carvers: Nancy Scheibe,, Kit Wilson, Kitty Kennedy, Heidi Favet, Sarah Levar, Greg Knipe

Wade and Nancy

To the left ~ Our team had the opportunity to take on another block in the park. Due to time constraints we chose a simple design. this is a Smart Car, complete with flat tire and jack to fix it.

Carvers in the park: Nancy Scheibe, Kit Wilson, Kitty Kennedy, Heidi Favet, Sarah Levar

Pin Carvers (Pictured to the right): Nancy Scheibe, Pamela Davis, Kit Wilson, Shelly Frederickson and Connie Muir

2014  ~  Golden Fibonacci Spiral and Zip Zoom Zip Beep Beep

Weather was good this year and snow was in great supply. It was clean - no ice or dirt to deal with. This year's carving depicts a two headed bookworm playing chess with itself, while another little bookworm rises from the pages.


Nancy Scheibe,

Kitty Kennedy,

Heidi Favet,

Kate Henehan

Pepe le Pew was created and dedicated in memory of Nancy's sister, Diane, who suddenly passed away three months prior to Winterfest. Diane had a fondness for ginging Nancy and Peppe le Pew trinkets she could lay her hands on - big and small.


Nancy Scheibe,

Kitty Kennedy,

Kate Hanehan,

Heidi Favet,

Sam Favet