Situating the Local by Inventing the Global: Community Festival and Social Change
Every year during its Winter Carnival, the village of McCall, located in the mountainous region of west central Idaho, transforms itself into an outdoor museum of snow and ice. Sculptures made entirely of snow and as large as buildings can be found on street corners, in front of buildings, and in the park. The "local" sculptures are ostensibly made by townspeople and are extraordinarily realistic, drawing upon literature, popular culture, and local life. Visitors might see a giant Snoopy or Darth Maul rendered in ice, wild bears frolicking over fallen logs, or a Model T car stuck in the snow. "State" sculptures are part of a state competition, located in the park, and are less detailed and often abstract. All are festive objects and designed to attract tourists to this remote and scenic resort town, who travel around to view them as part of the Carnival's activities. The other primary festival attraction is the main parade, which entails a Mardi Gras theme, but somewhat incongruously concludes with a quasi-Chinese dragon that wends its serpentine way down main street and is manned by local schoolchildren.
Gabbert, Lisa. “Situating the Local by Inventing the Global: Community Festival and Social Change.” In Space, Place, Emergence, a special issue of Western Folklore 66/3–4 (2007):259–80.