Welcome to ICE ALASKA | Polarjournal

The wintery silence at George Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks has come to an end. For several days now, there has been a lot of activity. Vehicles transport ice cuboids and warmly dressed men and women cut and shape the ice blocks deep into the night. Fairbanks residents have already become accustomed to the fact that this means annual ‘riots’ in the park at this time. The ‘Ice Alaska World Ice Art Championships’ is coming soon. This year’s World Ice Championships will be held from February 17 to March 31.

Weeks before opening, things are already getting restless at the Georg Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks. For a short time, heavy blocks of ice are turned into works of art that attract countless visitors.

The history of the ‘Ice Alaska World Ice Art Championships

The tradition of ice sculpture competitions began with early spring celebrations with ice thrones for the Winter Carnivals of the 1930s, while providing an outdoor activity for Alaska natives. In 1990, a committee formed and decided to make it a permanent event on the calendar to promote and exhibit the art of ice sculpture. In total, the ‘World Ice Art Championships’ have attracted over 100 professional ice artists from over 45 different countries in recent years, and even more local artists from different states across the US. The result is over 100 competition sculptures and exhibits, and the ever-expanding playful ice attractions in Kids Park.

“From little things, big things can grow” – and now the ‘Ice Alaska Winter Carnival’ has grown into a 6-week event full of amazing artwork and wonderful winter fun. The competition is held and awarded in the categories SINGLE BLOCK, DOUBLE BLOCK, MULTIBLOCK TEAMS.

The more than 90 board members organize everything about the event, from cutting the ice blocks, communications, registration and catering for guest artists, to funding, marketing and promoting the event.

Ice Alaska holds fundraising activities throughout the year to support the event.

It won’t work without many volunteers

Each year, volunteers travel from every state in the US. Some have even traveled from Australia. Volunteers bring a lot of energy to make the biggest ice artist competition in the world. The presence of volunteers is an integral part of the successful presentation of the ‘World Ice Art Championships by Ice Alaska’.

For each volunteer who works at least 6 hours a day for 14 days, Ice Alaska provides lodging, transportation from the hotel to the park and back, and meals on site while working.

Opening hours

February 17 – March 31, 2023

Mon-Fri: 12:00 – 22:00

Sat: 12:00 – 22:00

Sun: 12:00 – 22:00

Website: Ice Alaska

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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