ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s called SOCIALICE. Rochester Downtown Alliance puts on the event which ice bars, special-effects lighting, and music.
The event kicks off Thursday but ice sculptors are already chipping away, creating the ice bars.
“It depends on what the design is…but typically a bar takes 9-10 hours,” Nick Lensing, an ice sculptor, said.
He’s been sculpting for the event for about ten years now. But each year can feel new.
“Seeing what we’re able to do, what the ice is able to do, things that might not on paper look like they’d work…like suspending ice,” he said. “seeing people's reactions the ohs and the aws, we even surprise ourselves with what the ice can do.”
While the temperatures may feel in the negatives, it is one big positive for the event. Unlike last year, where warm temperatures caused sculptors to start later and ice bars to melt, the cold temperatures allows them to start early.
“This really allows us to put the detail in it that we want and really make them as awesome as they should..,” Lensing said.
He said for the nine ice bars at this year’s event, they’re carving about 150 blocks of ice, each weighing about 300 pounds.
The SOCIALICE event is held at Peace Plaza on February 8, 9, and 10th.