The Ice Alaska ice park opens today, with an expanded kids park and big double ice slide.
Located at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds, the ice park will once again host the World Ice Art Championships.
“There are smaller fields in the sculpting competitions this year because the international sculptors couldn’t travel,” said volunteer Karen Clautice. However, “Steve Brice’s ice sculpting boot camp worked hard to increase the interactive exhibits and created plenty to do and see for all ages.” More than 50 competitive sculptures are expected.
In addition to the double ice slide and expanded kids park, the Ice Park features a large snow slide with multiple lanes and several smaller slides for younger visitors, Clautice said.
“There’s an outdoor “game room” with corn hole, ping pong, putting and table games. A large ice tunnel, large double throne, many photo opportunities and ice creatures and cartoon characters to discover,” she said.
This year, snow sculpting has really taken off, she said.
“The artists love this new medium that’s much easier to carve than ice,” Clautice said. The snow is more the consistency of Styrofoam.
The Ice Park’s first family snow sculpture competition is set for Feb. 20-21. Interested families should submit their designs to WardMarci9@gmail.com and the top five will be chosen to compete.
Ice carving competitions also begin this week, starting with the multi-block four-person teams. Judging is Saturday with awards announced on Sunday.
The double block two-person competition is Feb. 23-25, with the awards ceremony on Feb. 26. Single block, one-person, competition is Feb. 28-March 2, with the awards ceremony on March 3.
The event bills itself as “Unique to Fairbanks, outdoor, socially distanced fun for the whole family.” Masks are required in the warming areas.
The park will be open through the end of March, weather permitting.
Day pass adult -$16
Day pass senior and military - $12
Day pass youth - $8
Children under 6 - free
Special lower rates for season passes this year, so that people can come back and watch the park grow - Adults - $25, Youth - $15
Other special dates are:
Military Appreciation Day: Feb. 25.
Youth Classic: March 9- 11
Kid’s Day: March 12
UAF Day: March 15
The park is also looking for volunteers, especially in ticketing, safety and security and general labor. Email volunteer coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.