The Bartz brothers (Austin, 21, Trevor, 20, and Connor, 17) know their way around a snow pile.
The threesome ought to: Growing up in New Brighton, Minnesota, they’ve seen a lot of it. And they’re putting their skill with it to good use. After attracting attention for their massive snow sculptures, they’re using their most recent one to raise funds for charity.
Since 2012, the brothers have spent their holiday breaks making the massive snow sculptures in their front yard. They collect snow from across the neighborhood, warm some of it in their garage (making it stickier), and then spend 2.5 weeks of 12-hour days molding them into sea creatures, their chosen subject matter.
Their most recent, Octavius (named by fans on Facebook), is an 18-foot-tall and 35-foot-wide octopus that followed a pufferfish, walrus, shark and then a turtle. This year, they’ve put a donation box in their front yard to raise funds for Haiti. They’ve raised over $3,000 so far towards a $10,000 goal, the bulk of it through the staggering amount of foot traffic their sculpture attracts.
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“I’d say we’ve had about 4,000 to 5,000 people here so far,” Trevor Bartz told TwinCities.com. “There’s usually about 10 to 20 people in our front yard all night.”
“It’s cool that so many people can come out and enjoy it,” Austin added. “We love to see the joy it brings to the neighborhood. We are going to keep going as best we can. I graduate from college in a few years, though, so that might change things,” he continued.