Having lived in Fairbanks Alaska for almost five years,(by local standards I guess that still makes me a newbee) I would have to say that all of the events and natural wonder packed into this place nothing -- comes even close to Ice Alaska. Never -- in all my life have I seen anything remotely like this two week series of events. A competition that after almost 75 years still is by enlarge a non-commercial event, and I might add unspoiled by corporate sponsorship and media coverage.
Imagine if you will, an event so large that renowned artists from all over the world come to compete. One in which you can actually look over the artist's shoulders as they create before in a matter of a few short days between 80 to 120 larger than life museum quality ice sculptures.
Unlike any other medium, ice adds an almost mystical fourth dimension to these sculptures by allowing light to pass through and illuminate these works. Making it so that no two you look at any sculpture, do they appear exactly the same. Add to that, the fact that these same sculptures can then be illuminated at night with a miriad of colored lights adding richness and fire to the ice making these works of art seem to come to life.
Now try to imagine all of this if you will, in context of the daily and nightly sights and sounds of Alaska and Fairbanks that make them the special place that they are.
I'm sure that now you can begin to see the magnitude of this single annual event.
To quote myself from a powerpoint presentation on Ice Art 2000: "Ice Alaska is the power of the Northern Lights captured in ice"
Ice Alaska 2000
World Ice Art Championship
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Tourist Season 3rd -14th
NOTE: The World Ice Art Championship is an annual event that is two week in duration. The Single Block Contest is three days long and then judged the following day their is generally a one day break and then the Multi-block Contest begins. The Multi-block contest is a seven day event the sculptures are judged that evening. The ice park does remain open for public viewing after the contests are over, but the intensity of the Sun wrecks havok on the ice sculptures even though the temperatures may be well below freezing. Best viewing is during the contests.