Zehnder's Frankenmuth Snowfest 2023 | Events, Dates, Schedule | Incredible Ice Carving Festival and Competition in Michigan! Eat Famous Frankenmuth Fried Chicken, Visit Bronner's and Shop!


Zehnder's Frankenmuth Snowfest 2023 | Events, Dates, Schedule | Incredible Ice Carving Festival and Competition in Michigan! Eat Famous Frankenmuth Fried Chicken, Visit Bronner's and Shop!

By Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated November 23, 2022

  • Don't you just love Michigan winter ice carving festivals?  

Every January, Zehnder's in Frankenmuth Michigan throws one heck of a Frankenmuth Snowfest festival.  It's a great excuse to bundle up in the middle of Michigan's winter and eat some famous Frankenmuth fried chicken, shop at the River Place Shops and of course, watch amazingly talented ice artists carve massive slabs of ice into submission! 

Zehnder's Snowfest is one of my favorite things to do in Michigan in winter!

There are so many fun things to do at Zender's Snowfest! Enjoy the warming tent, a fireworks display, petting zoo and children’s activities and more!

While you are there, grab our Frankenmuth Michigan travel guide!


When is the 2023 Zehnder’s Snowfest?

January 25-29, 2023

Insider Frankenmuth Snowfest Insider Tips

  • Arrive early.  See my notes in the next section about that. 
  • If you want to indulge in a famous chicken dinner, I would make reservations immediately upon arriving. 
  • Noice the tiny clay sculptures on display in front of the ice sculptures.  It shows you the intent of what the finished ice sculpture will look like.
  • Weekday visits are much less busy so it's easier to park and navigate.
  • Bathrooms are located in the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder's restaurants.
  • If the weather is exceedingly cold at Frankenmuth Snowfest, check out the warming tent located in Zehnder's parking lot.  They also have maps of the festival.  
  • If you are limited on time, the majority of the sculptures are located within Zehnder's and Bavarian Inn's parking lots. 


Zehnder's Snowfest Schedule 2023 

Did you know that Zehnder's Snowfest is one of the top snow and ice sculpting events in North America? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Frankenmuth Snowfest 2023 Schedule

  • World Class Snow Carving Teams Work Throughout the Day on Double & Single Block Competitions in Zehnder’s Parking Lot. 
  • Children’s Snow Sculpting at Frankenmuth Riverplace. 
  • State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Begins at 6 p.m. in Bavarian Inn Restaurant’s Parking Lot.
  •  Zehnder’s Snowfest Warming Tent Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Food, Refreshments, Exhibit Booths & Entertainment 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Entertainment by the Halsey Old Timers 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Pioneer Sugar’s “All Things Chocolate” Baking Contest Sponsored by Michigan Sugar, Le Creuset and WSGW.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

  • World Class Snow Carving Teams Work Throughout the Day on Double & Single Block Competitions in Zehnder’s Parking Lot, Public Voting Begins.
  • Children’s Snow Sculpting at Frankenmuth Riverplace. 
  • High School Snow Sculpting Competition Begins at 9 a.m. at Frankenmuth Riverplace. 
  • State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Continues Throughout the Day. 
  • Dueling Pianos Luncheon at 12 noon. Enjoy a chicken luncheon in Zehnder’s Main Dining Room (reserve your tickets early)
  • Zehnder’s Snowfest Warming Tent Open 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
  • Food, Refreshments, Exhibit Booths & Entertainment 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 

 

Friday, January 27, 2023

  • Professional Ice Exhibition, see Greg Butauski, Award Winning Certified Master Ice Sculptor and his team create a 100-block masterpiece featuring a pirates theme. Located in Zehnder’s Parking Lot behind Rau’s Country Store. 
  • World Class Snow Carving Teams Continue to Work Throughout the Day on Double and Single Block Competitions, Public Voting Continues. 
  •  State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Continues Throughout the Day
  • High School Snow Sculpting Competition Continues 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sponsored by Northwood University
  • Zehnder’s Snowfest Warming Tent Open 10 a.m. – 12 midnight. 
  •  Food, Refreshments, Exhibit Booths and Entertainment Featuring Country Night. 
  1. 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – The Swift Brothers 
  2. 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – U.S. 338th Army Band Country Concert
  3. 6 p.m. WKCQ Karaoke Contest Finals
  4. 8 p.m. – Midnight – The Family Tradition Band,  ($5.00 Cover Charge after 6 p.m. – Children 12 and Under Free)
  • Children’s Play Area Open – Next to Frankenmuth Toy Company. 
  • Free Petting Zoo 4 – 7 p.m. Children’s Pony Rides 4 – 7 p.m. 
  • Collegiate Alumni Ice Carving Challenge 4 – 7 pm – Former Collegiate Alumni compete in a multi-block ice carving challenge.

 

Ice Chairs at Zehnder's Snowfest in Frankenmuth MichiganKing and Queen Chairs at Zehnder's Snowfest in Frankenmuth Michigan

Saturday, January 28 , 2023

  • World Class Single & Double Block, and State Snow Sculpting Concludes at 10 a.m.
  • Zehnder’s Snowfest Warming Tent Open 9:30 a.m. – 12 midnight.
  • Food, Refreshments, Exhibit Booths and Entertainment Featuring Classic Day
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. U.S. 338th Army Brass & Wind Ensemble
  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. U.S. 338th Army Band Patriotic Concert
  • 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Magician Jason Abbott (3) Shows
  • 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Music by The Saucecats
  •  2:00 p.m. Snow Carving Awards
  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – U.S. 338th Army Band Rock Concert 
  • 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. Music by the Rock Show ($5.00 Cover Charge after 6 p.m. – Children 12 and under Free)
  • Children’s Play Area Open – Next to Frankenmuth Toy Company
  • Free Petting Zoo 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Children’s Pony Rides 12 noon – 6 p.m.
  • Musical Carousel Ride 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Collegiate Alumni Ice Carving Competition 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Former Collegiate Alumni compete in a multi-block ice carving challenge.
  • Annual Fireworks Display – 6:45 p.m.

 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

All Ice and Snow Sculptures Completed for Public Viewing

  • Zehnder’s Snowfest Warming Tent Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Food, Refreshments, Exhibit Booths and Entertainment 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Magician Jason Abbott (3) Shows 11:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Music by Stone Street Revival
  • Children’s Play Area Open
  •  Free Petting Zoo 12 noon – 5 p.m.
  • Children’s Pony Rides 12 noon – 5 p.m
  • Musical Carousel Ride 12 noon – 5 p.m.

All Scheduled Outdoor Activities and Events May Be Changed Due to Weather Conditions. Check their website for more info.



Best Time to Attend the Frankenmuth Snowfest 

If you are looking to enjoy this Frankenmuth ice festival without mass crowds, I would recommend going during the week and arrive before noon. The only thing to know is that the sculptures will not be finished yet. 

But that's also my favorite time to go! I relish in watching the talented snow artists perfect their sculptures.  It's like magic as they transform the massive blocks of ice or snow into realistic rabbits, spiders, dragons or anything the artist can fathom! 

I like going to Frankenmuth Snow Fest about two days after the festival starts because the artists are well into their sculptures but it's not the last day so they have time to talk and interact with you.  In other words, they are not panicked as the time frame creeps near.  



Watch an Artist Wield a Massive Saw to transform a Giant Ice Sculpture During the Frankenmuth Ice Festival!


Where to Park During Frankenmuth Snowfest

Like I mentioned above, I would arrive well before noon at Frankenmuth Snowfest if you want to park near the sculptures.

The best place to park, in my opinion, is right behind Zehnder's Restaurant.  They have a monster paved lot, but it will be packed after noon. 

Parking is also available in the Bavarian Inn lot and River Place Shops. 


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Zehnder's Snowfest was a blast yet again this year! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I absolutely adore seeing people create their craft! And I certainly wasn't disappointed...these artists were hardcore! The weather was excruciatingly cold, around 11 degrees, yet there were out there carving, chopping and grinding these monster chunks of ice into submission.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So I spoke to one carver just before I left and he told me he created a huge swan in 2018 and FIVE MINUTES before judging his entire sculpture shattered due to higher temps. Can you imagine the disappointment???⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #frankenmuth #frankenmuthmichigan #seefrankenmuth #puremichigan #waterwheel #Michigan #greatlakesstate #travelingmichigan #michiganders #monday #mondaymood #mondayinspiration #zehnderssnowfest #getoutside #photooftheday #traveling #adventureislife #travel #travelphotography #icesculptures #winter #letswinter #thegreatlakesstate #onlyinmichigan #greatlakesloving ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #michiganunsalted #michiganaddict #onlyinmichigan #mittenlove #snowfestimpressions @zehnders

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