Peek-a-boo! Diana Garcia-Lavigne and Ella Whitty Kramer peek from their play house made of ice. All photos courtesy Naomi Whitty
We told you earlier about Fairbanks’ homage to winter called the Ice Alaska festival. In addition to watching ice-carvers from around the world making like Michelangelo with their frozen blocks, visitors also can play at the kid’s ice park. There’s a skating rink for mini hockey players, a tunneled maze, huge characters to climb on, including some from the Ice Age movies, bowls in which to sit and be spun, all cut from blocks of ice.
Did we mention the slides?
We're thinking the slides are the place to be. . .
. . . at least if the wild Whitty women are to be believed.
PFS’ Alaska staff has been known to gather en masse at the festival. Let’s hope they continue the tradition this year–and that they go at night.
Ice sculpture "Olympic Flame." Photo: Naomi Whitty
Come late February, many of us may be tiring of our winter landscapes. But up in Fairbanks where spring traditionally is still a ways off, folks lean into the season with a dazzling festival honoring winter’s purest, most abundant yield: ice.
Ice Alaska features an international ice-carving competition and it runs for about a month. Even if you’re nowhere near Fairbanks, you can still follow the goings-on via the official Web site: http://www.icealaska.com. View webcam coverage of the sculptors working on their blocks of “Arctic Diamonds,” the clear, hard ice recovered from O’Grady pond, which lies just beyond the festival site. (Talk about your coal to Newcastle: in the competition’s infancy, ice was brought from Seattle!)
Fairbanks colleague Naomi Whitty took the above picture on a visit a week or so ago to the ice park, when the single-block competitors were still carving their sculptures. Here’s the finished piece, awash in the colored lights that make night-time visits to the park extra special.
- Olympic Flame, by Aaron Costic. Photo: Rhonda Konicki and Karen Clautice
In addition to the ice-carving festival, Ice Alaska sports a children’s park constructed entirely of ice. But that’s another story.