Some of the country's best amateur and professional ice carvers will compete by creating frozen masterpieces in Stowe this Saturday, Jan. 26. The nationally sanctioned National Ice Carving Association-NICA event comes at the conclusion of Stowe's week-long winter carnival, an annual celebration around the ski area since 1922. The Ice Carving Competition will take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony and apr_ski party 4-6 p.m., all in Spruce Peak Plaza at the base of Stowe Mountain Resort. The theme of this year's event is maritime, and the magnificent ice sculptures will remain on display around Stowe for the duration of winter, or until they melt. Formed in 1987, the purpose of NICA is to promote the art of ice sculpture through education, competitions, standardized judging and exhibitions. NICA sanctions ice carving exhibitions and competitions throughout the United States.