The stars were aligned for our first-ever High Line Snow Sculpt-Off yesterday. The overnight snowfall had blanketed the High Line with nearly a foot of sticky, wet snow that was perfect for packing. By the time our staff had finished clearing the snow (check out the video  to relive the magic), the weather had warmed up just enough to enjoy being outside. An added bonus: schools were canceled and the neighborhood kids were looking for something to do.
"It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces—volunteers, neighborhood residents, and colleagues—being so creative!" Danya Sherman, our Deputy Director of Programs & Education, said. "The High Line is and always will be a place for neighbors being innovative—and having fun."
Follow us after the jump for more coverage, video, and photos.
Fifteen teams competed for the top prize: an iPod Shuffle, a behind-the-scenes tour of the High Line, and a gift certificate to Amy's Bread. The teams wowed us with a variety of innovative sculptures, including dinosaurs, octopi, a caterpillar, the Holland Tunnel, the Empire State Building, and more. (Check out the video above, courtesy of the Daily News.)
In the end, the judges, Robert Hammond, Co-Founder of Friends of the High Line; Lauren Ross, Friends of the High Line's Curator & Director of Art Programs; and Juwan Stone, our Media Intern, picked the snow dragon to win the top prize.
The dragon was created by Gabriel Willow, Rebecca Pappas, and Raj Kottamasu, three friends from Brooklyn who told the judges their sculpture was intended to be a metaphor for the High Line. We're still not sure we follow, but no matter. The group impressed us with their attention to detail and their creative use of the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck.
Mica and Noa Yoder's snow rats were a close runner-up. The girls, students at NYC Lab School, won day passes to Chelsea Piers. We had three third place winners—an octopus, created by Chelsea resident Deborah Fenker, the Empire State Building, and "Snow Rex," created by a group of students from NYU. Both teams went home with passes for The Standard's ice skating rink. An honorable mention was given to a bathroom sculpture, a piece inspired by, its creators told the judges, the cleanliness of the High Line's restrooms.
Thank you to everyone who turned out for the first-ever High Line Snow Sculpt-Off on the High Line yesterday. We were thrilled to see our neighbors, friends, and fellow New Yorkers enjoying the High Line in the winter. We hope the snow creatures will inspire others to come back again soon.