What if your playground was made of ice? An Qui Feng of Harbin, China cuts away at an ice block while working on a sculpture for this year's Ice Alaska Ice Park in Fairbanks, Alaska (AP photos)
What if your playground was made of ice?
Lexile

Workers are building an ice playground in a city in Alaska. It will include a pirate ship slide made from 65 refrigerator-sized blocks of ice, and even mazes.

The work began at the George Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks ahead of the annual world ice sculpture championships, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

A giant ice lens also is planned and ice championships chairman Dick Brickley said it will be 12 feet in diameter. It will be powerful enough to focus the sun's rays and start a fire, he said.

The ice is so clear, the rays go right through it. One small telescope in the past started a fire on a piece of plywood, Brickley said.

Another new attraction is an experimental sculpture that will be carved on land, then displayed underwater.

Its kind of a neat new concept, Brickley said. We make it so the public can walk out over the ice and see the carving under the water.

The attractions must be completed by the time the park opens Feb. 23. That's when teams of artists participating in the 2015 BP World Ice Art championships begin making sculptures.

The ice being harvested this year is crystal-clear aqua blue, Brickley said. This winter has been warmer and there's been less snow than usual, which is actually good for ice formation, he said. Snow can shield ice from cold air.

A new piece of ice art that's scheduled to go up will feature a sculpture of Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.

On Feb. 23, teams of artists begin making their single-block and multi-block sculptures for the competition part of the event. The competitive single-block and multi-block ice carving events will feature artists from 16 countries.

So far this year crews have harvested about 188 of the 1,000 ice blocks they need for the park. The ice is 22 inches thick, which is a good depth for ice park construction.

The clear aqua blue ice is a big attraction, though.

"Thats why these artists pay all that money to come in here and carve it, Brickley said.

Critical thinking challenge: CTC: What's so special about the ice being harvested? How is it different from ice in your refrigerator at home?

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COMMENTS (3)
  • GeoffreyB-Ver
    1/30/2015 - 02:27 p.m.

    I think this was very interesting, because they are even making a sculpture of gov. Bill Walker. And they are gonna try to carve some ice and display it under water. Which I think would be amazing.

  • ChiChiM-Alb
    2/06/2015 - 04:51 p.m.

    I think it would be cool to have an ice playground. The downside of it though,is you could slip and fall or the ice could start a fire.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    6/21/2016 - 02:53 p.m.

    It would be pretty exciting to be expecting an ice playground. The ice playground that will be built in Alaska contains a pirate ship slide, refrigerator sized blocks, and a maze. I wonder how it will be like for people to experience this. The maze sounds pretty cool because it will be made out of ice and it is slippery. People will have to skate or slide through the ground. The playground will also be displayed underwater so people can see.
    The ice that is being harvested this year is special because it is crystal-clear aqua blue. It will look pretty and be really clear to see through. It is different from ice at our refrigerators because the ice that we have is not made naturally by the snow and the ground. It is just like water put in a freezer.

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