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Edmonton’s ice castle to open in first week of 2019

Construction process of Edmonton Ice Castles
WATCH ABOVE: Construction has now begun on Ice Castles, the popular icy wonderland at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton. Build crews have turned on water and begun growing icicles – the primary building material for the acre-sized attraction.

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on Nov. 28, and was updated on Dec. 31.

After five weeks of growing, harvesting, and hand-placing icicles in Edmonton’s river valley, the annual ice castle in Hawrelak Park is set to open later this week.

Building crews turned on the water a month ago, and the icicles that make up the castle started to form.

READ MORE: Ice Castles returning to Edmonton once again

“Mother Nature has been our friend this month,” Ice Castles CEO Ryan Davis said back in November. “Our crews have been working hard over the last week to make ice and build an interactive experience that families across Alberta will love.”

The castle features ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones, and cascading towers of ice embedded with color-changing LED lights that twinkle to music at night.

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On the weekends, there will be afternoon appearances by “princesses” styled to look like those from Disney’s Frozen, and in the evening there will be fire shows with performers doing fire breathing, spinning, hula, and more.

The first icicles that will become the ice castle have started to take shape in Hawrelak Park.
The first icicles that will become the ice castle have started to take shape in Hawrelak Park. Supplied: Ice Castles
The first icicles that will become the ice castle have started to take shape in Hawrelak Park.
The first icicles that will become the ice castle have started to take shape in Hawrelak Park. Supplied: Ice Castles
The first icicles that will become the ice castle have started to take shape in Hawrelak Park.
The first icicles that will become the ice castle have started to take shape in Hawrelak Park. Supplied: Ice Castles

Every day, builders harvested up to 10,000 icicles. Those icicles were hand-placed and sprayed with water. That process was repeated until the walls of the castle reached around 30 feet. Builders spent about 4,000 hours shaping the castle.

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The frozen creation in Edmonton is made up of 25 million pounds of ice and is roughly an acre in size, Ice Castles said. The company has six locations across North America, but the Edmonton castle is the only one in Canada.

READ MORE: Edmonton Ice Castles opens to the excitement of visitors

The castle will open on Friday, January 4, 2019. Tickets can be bought online.

Hours of operation will be:

  • Monday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Thursday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: Noon – 8 p.m.

This is the fourth year the castle has been built in the Edmonton park.