Fairbanks, Alaska to Host the World's Largest Competition for Ice Sculptures

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Explore Fairbanks expects up to 100 teams of Ice Sculptors from around the globe to flock to Fairbanks, Alaska to carve more than three million pounds of ice during Ice Alaska's 2017 World Ice Art Championships.

"Let It Be", sculpted by Junichi Nakamura, Shinichi Sawamura, Yoshimori Mabuchi, and Koji Murakami of Japan at the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Arctic Diamond ice freezes quickly and thickly in Alaska’s Interior and is clear enough to read a newspaper through a four-foot ice block

Fairbanks, Alaska is home to the largest ice sculpting competition in the world. The 2017 World Ice Art Championships, held at the George Horner Ice Art Park in Fairbanks, will be open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from February 20 through March 31, 2017. Held annually since 1988, the World Ice Art Championships features up to 100 ice sculpting teams from around the world. Approximately 45,000 visitors come to the Ice Art Park each year to see these intricately sculpted masterpieces.

Sculptors at the World Ice Art Championships use over four million pounds of "Arctic Diamond" ice which is harvested from a lake located adjacent to the Ice Art Park. Ice freezes quickly and thickly in Alaska’s Interior, and is clear enough to read a newspaper through a four-foot thick ice block. Sculptors claim that Fairbanks ice is the “finest on the planet for sculpting.” Each Single Block Classic ice block measures approximately 2.5’ x 8’ x 5’ and weighs around 7,200 lbs. The finished sculptures in the Multi-Block Classic contest can weigh as much as 20 tons and be over 25 feet tall.

In the center of the Ice Art Park there will be a large designated Kid’s Park, which is like any children's playground, only it is constructed entirely from ice. There’ll be slides and rides for all ages, mazes and life-sized sculptures of animals, and characters to touch and climb on. The Ice Art Park will also feature an “ice stage” for various performances, ice skating rink, ice cabin, ice obstacle course and even a Slide-A-Mile challenge.

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

To learn more about the World Ice Art Championships, go to icealaska.com. For more information on the aurora and for free copies of the Fairbanks Visitors Guide and its companion publication, the Fairbanks Winter Guide, contact Explore Fairbanks at 1-800-327-5774 or (907) 456-5774, or write to Explore Fairbanks, 101 Dunkel St., Suite 111, Fairbanks, AK 99701-4806. To view the guides or order online, go to explorefairbanks.com


About Explore Fairbanks

Explore Fairbanks is a non-profit marketing and management organization whose mission is to be an economic driver in the Fairbanks region by marketing to potential visitors and optimizing the visitor experience. Explore Fairbanks markets Fairbanks as a year-round destination by promoting local events, attractions and activities to independent travelers, group tour operators, travel agents, meeting planners and the media as well as by developing public policy and infrastructure to achieve marketing objectives. Find out more at explorefairbanks.com.

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Jerry Evans

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