Making their biggest debut by far, the Ice Castles are nearing completion and soon to be ready for the public. As constriction comes to a close, eager crowds can expect to explore the finished attraction Friday, Jan. 17.
The spectacle will have different features including choreographed lights built into walls of ice, slides, tunnels and this year even a dome with a massive fountain inside of it. Expanding from Excelsior last year and Stillwater the year prior, Long Lake Regional Park will prove to accommodate the massive project.
Taking anywhere between three weeks and a month to construct, assistant site manager Jake Telschow described the process behind making the castles as “everchanging.”
Through the use of a sprinkler system to create and harvest icicles for the building material, it was clear that a unique set of challenges was created. “When you run water like this, it’s not just the walls that grow- the floor does too. We actually have to get in there and drop the floor sometimes like four, five, six feet down,” said Telschow. “So, it’s a lot of running chainsaws and just trying to get it down to like a smooth walking surface for people.”
With a team of ice masons working around the clock to ensure patron safety, this feat of unique architecture is sure to attract.
Beginning as a project for his kids, owner Brent Christensen has expanded his creation to a project which has grown to multiple states and be loved across the country. With a mission to create “happiness, laughter and unforgettable memories,” the Minnesota ice castles will be an amazing experience for all.
Minnesota State University, Mankato students who wish to see the castles themselves can get 15% off online admission by using the code “MNSU” at checkout.
Header photo: Water spraying down from a sprinkler system used to grow Ice Castles Tuesday, Jan. 7 in New Brighton. (Andrew Bravo/MSU Reporter)