Thousands of people have already been to the annual Snow Festival at Sapporo on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and thousands more are expected before the festival is over.
TV PAN & ZOOM IN Festival ground
SV & GV People attending festival (3 shots)
GV White House; statue of Liberty (3 shots)
GV Innsbruck Olympic site
SV PAN Snow White and Seven Dwarfs
GV People at fair
GV Various cultural figures in ice (6 shots)
GV Dragon goddess (2 shots)
GV & SV PAN Slope with children
SCU Visitors (2 shots)
GV ZOOM OUT Sapporo site
Initials BB/0055 AB/PN/BB/0130
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Background: Thousands of people have already been to the annual Snow Festival at Sapporo on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and thousands more are expected before the festival is over.
The main attraction is a magnificent spectacle of ice and snow sculptures.
Because Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island, its extremely cold weather at this time of the year keeps the sculptures frozen for long periods.
This year, as well as the usual large scale figures from local history and mythology, there is also an intricate facsimile of the Olympic Winter Games village in the Austrian town of Innsbruck.
There are also sculpture of the American White House, Statue of Liberty, sharks inspired by the move "Jaws", the dragon goddess, Mickey Mouse and Snow White.
SYNOPSIS: Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido where thousands of visitors attend the annual snow festival, a wonderland of impressive sculpture of ice and snow. On opening day this year, an estimated record of over 800-thousand people attended the show When the show ends on Thursday, Japanese authorities say more than two million people would have attended.
To celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of America's independence, the Sapporo festival dedicated an entire square to the Untied States, highlighting ice sculptures of such landmarks as the White House and the Statue of Liberty. The festival also paid tribute to the Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria.
There were also traditional themes such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Mickey Mouse among the 240 statues on display. On opening day on Sunday, the weather was what was described as fair, with temperatures at minus four degrees centigrade. Other attractions at the festival included a replica of a shark made popular by the movie, Jaws.
Many of the sculptures at the festival recall the antiquity of Hokkaido, last home of the primitive and almost extinct Ainu people, the original inhabitants of Japan. Others form a parade of Japanese historical and mythological characters...enjoyed by visitors from all over the world.