Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ice Alaska (for real)

My family finally got to go to the ice park Friday night! We've all been so sick that we couldn't go yet...

Ice Alaska is this huge ice carving contest that happens every year, lasts about a month, and is such a big deal it attracts carvers from all over the world- Russia, Canada, Japan, China... Apparently, Fairbanks has the best ice in the world. I don't know much about it, but our ice is known for it's clarity and beauty. Go figure.

Fairbanks has been doing this for so long that I remember going and looking at the carvings with my family when I was in high school (probably 15 years ago or so). My feet would get so cold! It used to be pretty small, but now it's huge... Artists come in from all over the world and lead workshops, plus they spend time creating a Kids Park with slides, mazes, spinners, and fun things for kids. The sculptures are amazing and the Kids Park is pretty fun, plus it's not ridiculously expensive (about the price of a movie) except kids under 10 are free. Deborah remembered it from last year when she was 2 and kept asking to go again...

Anyway, we went and had a lot of fun.

Jake, Abigail & Deborah on a slide
(They went down the slides over & over & over, and poor Abigail cried the whole way home 'cuz she didn't want to leave...)

Deborah in the ice maze

Abigail in a spinner

(I think this one is my favorite...)

(some of the abstract sculptures are so incredible- beautiful or striking or just doing amazing things that show off the beauty of the ice and the incredible things you can do with it. Some of them are just plain weird. Don't get me wrong- I like art for art's sake. But some of the weird ones seem to be going for weird for the sake of being as weird as possible- undulating shapes coming out of the ground...
spikes birthing out of lumpy shapes...
Anyway, there was one I really liked but couldn't get a decent picture of it- the shape of a pregnant woman. I liked it, but my pictures were odd. I was surprised at how hard it was to photograph some of the ones with detailed work- they would just blend into a flat white plain.)

Outhouse bear invasion (that's a squirrel leaping from the top of the building as the bear's scratching shakes it.)

Asian Ice Sculpture (some of the Asian ones are absolutely incredible- itty bitty details, like the stairs on this one... Last year there was this amazing large boat, longer than a tall man, with shapes carved on the area all around it to represent water... I think it was the one with this really cool water dragon undulating through the water. Kind of like the pictures you see of Nessie.)

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