Fairbanks, Alaska Prepares to Host the Worlds Largest Competition for Ice Sculptures

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Each year over 70 teams of Ice Sculptors from around the globe flock to Fairbanks, Alaska to carve more than three million pounds of ice during Ice Alaska's World Ice Art Championships.

Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks

The "Hunting Dragons" entry in the multi-block competition.

The finished sculptures in the Multi-Block Classic contest can weigh as much as twenty tons and be up to 25 feet tall

Fairbanks is the home of the largest ice sculpting competition in the world. Held annually since 1988, Ice Alaska's World Ice Art Championships has grown to a month-long event featuring more than 70 teams from around the world. Approximately 45,000 visitors come to the Ice Park to see intricately carved masterpieces. The theme for the 26th Annual World Ice Art Championships is “Sculpting World Friendships.”

Sculptors at the World Ice Art Championships use over four million pounds of "Arctic Diamond" ice which is harvested from a large pond nearby. Ice freezes quickly and thickly in Alaska’s Interior, and is clear enough to read a newspaper through a four-foot ice block. Sculptors claim that Fairbanks ice is the “finest on the planet for sculpting.” The blocks measure 3’ x 8’ x 5’ and weigh four to five tons. The finished sculptures in the Multi-Block Classic contest can weigh as much as twenty tons and be up to 25 feet tall.

Near the pond there is a large designated Kid’s Park, which is like any children's playground, only it is constructed entirely from ice. There are slides and rides for all ages, mazes and life-sized sculptures of animals, characters and toys to touch and climb on. There is also an “ice stage” for various performances.

Competitions will include the Single Block Classic, the Multi-Block Classic, Amateur Open Exhibition and the Youth Classic for high school students.

The 2015 World Ice Art Championships, held at the George Horner Ice Park at 3050 Phillips Field Road, will be open daily 10am-10pm, February 23 through March 29, 2015.

To learn more about the World Ice Art Championships go to http://www.icealaska.com. For more information on Fairbanks, request a free copy of the Fairbanks Visitors Guide and Winter Guide from Explore Fairbanks at 1-800-327-5774 or (907) 456-5774 or by writing to 101 Dunkel Street, Suite 111, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. You can also order or view the guides online, get information about the aurora borealis and see our full schedule of winter events and activities online at http://www.explorefairbanks.com.

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Jerry Evans

Betsy Engle
Ice Alaska
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