The massive “Narnia-like” ice castle will once again delight Edmontonians and visitors to the city this winter.
Ice Castles, which has built castles across the United States since 2009, announced on Facebook it is returning to Edmonton for the third year in a row.
Ice Castles has once again partnered with the City of Edmonton and the Silver Skate Festival to bring the winter attraction back to Hawrelak Park in Edmonton’s river valley.
For the past two years, construction began in November, and the acre-sized castles were open from late December to late February. Both years the company planned to operate into March, but unseasonably warm weather two years in a row caused the castle to melt and become unsafe, forcing an early closure.
WATCH: Ice Castles CEO talks about the warm weather and its impact on the attraction
Ice Castles says work will get underway in late November, once temperatures are consistently cold enough to sustain the ice. It will open sometime in late December 2017, and stay open through March 2018, weather permitting.
Crafted by hand using only icicles and water, ice castles feature tunnels, fountains or waterfall, slides and archways. Past castles have also had throne rooms. LEDs embedded in the ice light up the castle at night.
In 2015, more than 20 workers started creating the cool curiosity at the end of November. They grew at least 10,000 icicles per day on racks using sprinklers, with hoses running 23 million litres of water from a fire hydrant. The chunks were then placed by hand on top of each other and fused in place with more sprinklers.
WATCH: As Edmonton’s first ice castle took shape in 2015, the lead artist gave our Margeaux Morin a tour of the site and explained how the magic happens.
Edmonton was the first city north of the border the company built a castle in, but this winter it will add a second Canadian location in Winnipeg.
“We are thrilled to bring Ice Castles to two new cities this winter,” Ice Castles’ CEO Ryan Davis said. “Our hope is that our presence in all six locations will give families who live in or visit these communities an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors together.”
The castle will be open six days a week, and will be closed on Tuesdays. For more information, visit their website.