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January 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Snow-light Leavenworth throws a January luau

Will the giant nutcracker at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum wear a hula skirt this weekend? You'll have to visit and see. (photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times, 2011)

Will the giant nutcracker at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum wear a hula skirt this weekend? You’ll have to visit and see. (photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times, 2011)

The Chelan County town of Leavenworth, with no snow for this weekend’s annual Bavarian Icefest,  is “making lemonade” with “our first, and perhaps last, Bavarian Ice Luau,” announced Jessica Robinson of the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.

Temperatures around 50 degrees late this week in the Cascade Mountains town have helped scuttle plans to truck in lots of snow or borrow a “snow gun” from Mission Ridge ski area to make snow for the event, Robinson said, noting that  “Mother Nature has chosen otherwise for us.”

Canceled this year are ski and snowshoe races, a snowmobile pull, dog-sled rides and a Rail Jam demonstration.

“We always try to have a good attitude about it!” Robinson joked, explaining the plan for luau-type events Saturday including Coconut Bowling, Beachball Volleyball, Hula-hoop Hula and more.

There will still be the traditional snow sculpting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, but using just one truckload of snow, and limited to one sculpture to be created by a loyal family who has crossed the mountains to attend the festival every year since it started in 1983. In a typical year there might be 10 to 15 sculptures, Robinson said.

Ice carving will go on as planned.

The town is showing its flexibility this year in another way. It has rescheduled the annual Sunday night fireworks to 8 p.m. (from 6) to accommodate the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff game.

Details on the festival schedule are here.

Comments | More in North Cascades, Northwest, snow sports, Washington state | Topics: Bavarian Icefest, Leavenworth, snow shortage

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