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.

Fairbanks, Alaska (AK) - 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 Fairbanks, request a free copy of the Fairbanks Visitors Guide and Winter Guide from Explore Fairbanks at 1-800-327-5774 or (907) 456-5774 or by writing to 101 Dunkel Street, Suite 111, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. You can also order or view the guides online, get information about the aurora borealis and see a robust schedule of winter events and activities online at www.explorefairbanks.com