The 2016 World Ice Art Championships, held at the George Horner Ice Park at 3050 Phillips Field Road in Fairbanks, Alaska, will be open daily 10am-10pm, February 29 through March 27, 2016.
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 each year to see intricately carved masterpieces.
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 MultiBlock 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, and characters 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.
To learn more about the World Ice Art Championships, go to http://www.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 www.explorefairbanks.com