BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — As yet another snowstorm battered the city Saturday, dozens of hardy New Yorkers donning colorful beanies and warm jackets made their way to the Picnic Peninsula on Pier 5 in Brooklyn Heights for a snow-sculpture contest.
Organized by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, which has worked for the past 25 years to transform the formerly industrial waterfront into a recreational haven, the inaugural competition attracted families looking for something to do outside and kids at heart with serious snow-sculpting skills.
“We have been monitoring the weather carefully to plan something like this,” said Travis Craw, a program coordinator at the Conservancy. “New Yorkers are constantly slogging through the nasty streets. This is a place to enjoy the snow. It’s a way to make winter not an unpleasant thing.”
Families were given just two hours to create their masterpieces, and raced to finish their sculptures in the allotted amount of time.
A bonfire stand, hot chocolate and cupcakes helped offer a touch of warmth in the freezing conditions.
John and Samantha Raffaele brought their 3-year-old daughter, Nancy, to partake in the snow-filled festivities. Nancy was busy at work constructing a snowman, which she named Olaf, after the friendly, bumbling character in the Disney film "Frozen."
“She loves the snow,” said Samantha Raffaele of her daughter. “School keeps getting canceled and it can get boring. All this snow reminds of me when I was growing up and there was always a lot of snow in the winters.”
Further along the pier, Johnny Temple, his two sons Arthur and Abraham, and their friend Theo Sternberg, had made their way from Fort Greene for the event. They were busy constructing what they called an ice dragon.
“It’s really hard to find something to do on a winter day in New York City,” he said. “That’s why we’re here.”
Two teams walked away winners at the end of the contest — one prize for the adults, and another for families.
The adult trio of winners, Brad Robinson, Kyle Radcliffe Jr. and Maya Schulman, set out to create an octopus named Leviathon, though they settled on “Quadropus.”
“It only has four legs,” said Radcliffe Jr. , of Park Slope. “We had to stick to the truth."
The Winchoster family crafted a prize-winning dragon entering a snow castle to capture the family title, thrilling their children Katherine, 7, and Henry, 5.
Winners walked away with ski passes to Stratton Mountain in Vermont, and gift cards for Waterfront Wines, the Moxie Spot, and Fornino.