Monday, April 4, 2011

Ice Park

A few weeks ago I went to the Ice Park. It's an international competition of ice sculpture and this was it's 22nd year. Currently there is a bit of political upheaval as to whether the competition will continue to be held in Fairbanks. I hope it stays.

I didn't have my regular camera with me and had to make do with my cell phone camera. Sorry for the less than clear pictures. They don't do the ice justice but you'll get the idea. Check out the website for better pictures:

The 3 H's and RR choose a particularly frigid night to go. I have know idea what the temperature was. (It was around this time that I stopped checking my phone's weather app for temperature updates. It was always negative something. Did I need to know more? No.)

The competition lasts a month and while running stays open until 10:00pm. We went on a Saturday night and the place was packed! There isn't a lot to do in Fairbanks in March, at night, in zero degree weather. This annual event is a highlight in the community for sure. Especially since you can take kids. Although, I've recently learned that taking your kids to family night at the tattoo parlor is also a popular event...

There was even a contingency from the local senior citizen assisted living establishment. This surprised me. An ice park + dark+ senior citizens did not equal, in my mind, an equation for safety. But what the heck. Who wants to live forever, right? If you're gonna go out while taking a spin down the ice slide, at least you were having fun!

There was a kids area with slides and mazes. Little H went down every slide, through the tunnel maze and tried her best to hang onto the back of a turtle. It was hard for me not to watch all these kids whizzing down the slides and climbing blocks of ice without thinking this was the biggest TBI breeding ground ever! It simultaneously turned my stomach into knots as I anticipated hearing the thunk of a head hitting ice (not unlike the sound of thumping a watermelon to check for ripeness), and made me think that between the kids and the seniors, I should have been handing out business cards!

The adults also enjoyed the "big kid" slide and something that went in circles, which surely would have made me nauseous. H2 enjoyed it though!

H2 and Little H going down the slide!
H2 "not" getting nauseous.
When we first arrived we noticed everyone pulling sleds. At first we saw parents using them to tote kids around, which seemed like a great idea since pushing a stroller through snow doesn't work. Then we came upon the the sledding hill made of ice,and lit up. Then, we understood the sleds.

The sculptures were amazing!

Little H was the only one appropriately dressed and staying warm that night. The adults of course, didn't wear enough warm clothes and we were quickly frozen. We had to leave before seeing all the sculptures. What we did see though was great. I do hope the Ice Park stays in Fairbanks. Otherwise, what will everyone do next March? Back to the bars I suppose.

Do you know what the most amazing thing was about the Ice Park? I didn't fall! Not once! No, my *big Sister Mary moment happened this weekend. I was getting my snowshoes out of the trunk of my car when I stepped on a patch of ice. There was about 10 seconds of flailing before I fell down hard. I landed on the car keys in my jacket pocket, which set the car to locking and unlocking itself repeatedly, and turned on the panic button. This was perfect for letting the people ice fishing that we had a situation. Too bad they missed the afternoon show! (At least I knew the keys weren't locked in the trunk.)

* This was actually my second big fall. The first big fall happened about a month ago and is where I learned that a head hitting ice sounds remarkably like rapping on a nice, ripe watermelon. But since the first fall was not my fault but rather due to the unfortunate marriage of my friends Mimosa and Jagermeister, I'm not going to quibble the point.


  1. What do you mean the little kids and seniors are a TBI waiting to happen?!? Maybe you should wear a helmet???

  2. I know! The kids and seniors seem to do just fine! I'm the one who is going to need speech therapy!