A lack of snow hasn't kept the Bartz brothers from continuing their winter tradition.
For seven winters now, the trio (Austin, Connor and Trevor) has built enormous and playful snow sculptures on their family's front lawn in New Brighton.
They've gained national attention for their creations – which are always modeled after sea creatures – with last year's 22-foot-tall snow fish recently appearing on the Travel Channel.
But the brothers do it for more than all the publicity – they help raise money for people who don't have clean drinking water. Last year they collected more than $26,000 from their fans.
"Our sculptures are made from water and we have a water theme," Austin Bartz told GoMN last year. So raising money for water makes perfect sense.
The brothers have been trying to work on their latest masterpiece since mid-December, but the weather hasn't exactly cooperated.
"Snow has been scarce this year (we only have 1.5 inches to work with), it will be a rush to get it all done before college starts back up. The question is: Can we do it?" the brothers posted on Facebook last week.
But thanks to some help from the city and recent snowfall, the sculpture started taking shape over the weekend. On Saturday the brothers shared a progress pic and made the announcement:
It was a... SNOW LOBSTER.
The 19-foot-tall crustacean will be unveiled at 7 p.m. Tuesday night during a grand opening celebration in front of their home, located at 2777 16th St. NW. in New Brighton.
The guys will be there to answer any questions about the sculpture, which will be lit up until 11 p.m.
Visitors can make cash or check donations at the opening event, or online. All donations (after credit card fees) raised through the snow sculpture campaign will go directly to One Day's Wages – a project that helps people gain access to clean water and sanitation education. You can donate here.
They're also asking people to help name the snow lobster, because why not. They've narrowed it down to Crawford and Diggs – you can vote in the poll here.