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Annual snow sculpture event canceled in Nevada

ELY, Nev. (AP) – Making fire is easy. But making snow when temperatures in eastern Nevada are a balmy 60 degrees? Not so much.

The lack of snow is forcing the cancellation this month of a snow sculpting contest at the annual White Pine Fire and Ice show at Cave Lake south of Ely.

The event that features fireworks and snow sculptures began seven years ago. Attendance has grown over the years, with hardy souls bundling up to brave normally cold and snowy January weather and enjoy the quirky festivities held on a frozen lake.

Held over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the show has also been named to the American Bus Association’s list of top 100 events in North America.

“We do have a snow machine, but at 60 degrees, the snow won’t hold together very long,” Meg Rhoades with the White Pine County Tourism agency said Thursday.

But not all is lost.

Rhoades said the region is still blessed with bone-chilling nighttime temperatures, creating a layer of ice on Cave Lake about a foot thick. The ice skating and ice fishing are superb, she said, and those events will still take place.

Fireworks are also planned, but they will be launched that Saturday night in town from one of the community’s two steam engine trains, instead of at the lake.

“People are still coming,” she said.

As for the snow sculptures?

“We will definitely be back next year,” she said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)