winter carnival

The ice slide

The winning sculpture for abstract art

Open the flood gates and eventually you’ll sink. Or swim.

In pursuing my MFA at the university in Fairbanks, there were many demands I’d never before experienced. So it was necessary to lighten up the mood every now and again. Going down this slide at the World Ice Art Championships in March, I laughed so hard that I might have peed my pants. It’s one of those sensations that you don’t often experience as an adult. Maybe it was embarrassing scouring around the place for a leftover sled from a ten-year old, but getting out of the house in the middle of winter and having a laugh was essential.

This past year, the World Ice Art Championships harvested a backbreaking 1,500 tons of ice using chainsaws and forklifts to remove the frozen blocks from a nearby pond. It’s a winter carnival, and sculptors worldwide come to carve out their niche. At dusk, the place lights up in neon as workers shine high beams on the ice. And there’s even an ice queen. Have a nip of hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps while you’re out walking around, and you might beam like the queen, too.

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