July 1, 2022

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What Are Your Family’s Favorite Winter and Holiday Traditions?

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The pictures with the ice sculptures are the best.

After an afternoon of ice skating, viewing the ice sculptures, and even getting a low key rid on one of the ice luges, your girls both wanted to go back to the ice sculptures. Posing with their favorites, sometimes as a pair, sometimes individually, the girls were even more excited when they realized that some of the ice sculptors were on hand touching up their masterpieces. More pictures, lots of questions, and several hours later you were finally ready to call it a day. What started as a family adventure that you were not really certain would last all that long, turned into a full afternoon and into he early evening event.

That first visit to the ice sculptures was nearly three years ago, but the outing has now become a family holiday break tradition. More than just a way for the girls to pose with pictures of their favorite animals and princesses carved from ice, these custom ice sculptures are now a topic that the girls talk about all year long. They predict what animals or characters will be featured next winter when they are playing in the summer. When the family takes any kind of winter vacation, of course, the girls are eager to see what kinds of ice carvings and sculptures other cities may have. Just recently your older daughter realized that ice carvings are actually a popular wedding decoration and now she has started her own plans for what her big day will look like when it finally arrives. Who knew that a winter outing could have turned into such an all consuming interest?

Winter Celebrations Are Often Events That Become Family Traditions

From the single sculptures made of snow at the bottom of many ski resorts in Colorado to large displays with many enormous ice sculptures in a downtown city celebration, there are plenty of ways that artists can take what might otherwise be a nuisance and turn it into a thing of beauty. The mere fact that one-block ice sculptures can range from 150 to 250 pounds, means that, depending on its design, these artistic expressions really earn the phrase larger than life. Even when these smaller pieces of ice are used at weddings and other kinds of corporate events, their smaller stature can still be mesmerizing. Although far from eternal, an ice sculpture typically lasts an average of four to six hours indoors, enough time to make sure that it is an important part of any wedding, reception, or workplace gathering.

Armed with specific kinds of traditional carving tools and making use of many non traditional tools as well, the best sculpting experts can be seem working with large chain saws, as well as small kinds of ice picks. In fact, watching a sculpture take shape is nearly as glorious as seeing it in its completed stage.

Winter can be a long and grueling time in many parts of the country so it should come as no surprise that it is often ski towns and communities in the cold northern parts of the country that started the art of carving unique creatures, and sometimes even castles, out of large blocks of ice. Again, completely dependent on the size and the detail of a sculpture, a high quality ice sculpture can take anywhere from three to twelve hours as an average to create. When to most massive of sculptures are created outside, of course, and when the weather cooperates, the creation can take even longer and the maintenance is pretty frequent.

So different from sculptures and pieces of artwork that are curated in traditional museums, of course, ice sculptures truly are one of a kind items that may have the shortest life of any kind of creations. Somewhat comparable to sand castles and creations, ice sculptures are often most known for their size and their whimsey. As an added event at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod race in Anchorage, for instance, there are many times when the creation of some of this outdoor exhibits draw nearly as big a crowd as the completed projects. What winter traditions will family start this year?