The BP World Ice Art Championship in Fairbanks, Alaska

BP World Ice Art Championship pic
BP World Ice Art Championship
Image: icealaska.com

When financial professional Samuel Brice Hall isn’t working in Atlanta, Georgia, he enjoys traveling. Recently, Samuel Brice Hall had an opportunity to visit Fairbanks, Alaska, during the BP World Ice Art Championships, hosted by Ice Alaska.

The World Ice Art Championships take place in March and help residents celebrate the end of long Alaskan winters. The annual event hosts 100 professional ice artists from around the world and draws over 45,000 people.

Several events take place at the World Ice Art Championships. One of the most impressive events at the festival is the Multi-Block Classic. Teams of two to four sculptors design and build enormous, beautiful sculptures consisting of 10 blocks of ice, each measuring 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 3.3 ft., totaling over 46,000 pounds. The impressive finished sculptures can reach up to 25 feet high.

Teams competing in the Single Block Classic consist of one or two members. Each team designs and executes a sculpture from a single block of ice measuring 5 ft. x 8 ft. x 3 ft. Teams work around the clock to finish their sculptures, which are judged and then lit with decorative colored lights to enhance their already magical appearance.

Ice Alaska has developed programs to teach the art of ice sculpting to the next generation. In 2006, an event sponsored by Fairbanks Youth Sports and Clarence Beers was added to the competition. The Ice Alaska Youth Classic allows junior and senior high students to try out the techniques they have learned through the youth outreach programs.