‘Have an ice day’ at the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska

A pirate ship, a superhero scene, a faucet with a round, glistening drop of water. These are just some of the otherworldly ice sculptures on display through the end of the month at Ice Alaska: 2015 BP World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Artists travel from all around the world for the chance to work with Fairbanks ice, some of the clearest in the world.

They use chisels, chainsaws and heat guns to sculpt massive, detailed ice sculptures. Each artist also helps construct the Kids Park – an outdoor playground complete with slides, tunnels and climbing structures, made completely out of ice.

“It’s just absolutely incredible what these teams can do with a block of ice,” says Hank Bartos, Ice Alaska board president. You would never think that somebody could do something like that, but they can.”

Much of the festival is run by volunteers, many of whom have been participating for several decades.

Bartos says he was sort of swept into helping with Ice Alaska, and once he saw the commitment of the volunteers he couldn’t back away.

“I look at the sacrifices many people have made,” he says. “The dedication of these people to what they do is just incredible.”

If you go:

Ice Alaska is open from Feb. 23 – March 29, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m, at 3070 Phillips Field Road in Fairbanks.

Individual day passes range from $8 to $15. Children under 6 years old are free.

Ice sculpting classes are offered each day by appointment.

Alaska Airlines flies 15 peak season flights to Fairbanks each day from Anchorage and Seattle, with an additional five each week from Prudhoe Bay. Find tickets at www.alaskaair.com.

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