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Traffic, weather, and events: Everything you need to know about SocialIce 2019

The three-day event goes from Thursday to Saturday.

Posted: Feb 7, 2019 7:57 AM
Updated: Feb 7, 2019 8:03 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Downtown Rochester is transformed into a winter wonderland full of ice bars and a giant igloo all for the 11th annual SocialIce.

The three-day event has seven ice bars from area restaurants, dancing, and is a time to truly embrace winter.

Trevor Pearson is the owner of Metro Ice Sculptures and is just one of the people creating ice bars. Behind the power tools, is an artist.

“It's really kind of gratifying to see how people interpret your art and see your work and are appreciative and are kind of mind blown,” Pearson said.

To make one ice bar, it takes about two days and 10 blocks of ice that each way 300 pounds. For all of Social Ice, carvers use a total of 150 blocks of ice.

Believe it or not, the biggest challenge isn’t moving or carving all of this ice, it’s mother nature.

“We’re constantly looking at the weather,” Pearson said. “If it's going to be really cold, then the ice is going to be a little bit more brittle, if it's going to be warm out then it's going to be soft and we're going to need to work quicker.”

Snow can also impact the sculptures and event.

“Sometimes with snow you can get snow between the seams and it won't hold as well,” Pearson said.

“Park and Rec is being super diligent and persistent about getting the snow and the little shards of ice off the plaza,” Meghann Southwick with Rochester Downtown Alliance said.

And while weather brings its challenges, the city also hopes it will bring you downtown.

“People start to get cabin fever at this point in time. And after the cold we just experienced, I think people can do anything at this point. So, going out to social ice is a way to enjoy winter,” Southwick said.

New this year, the event will have a giant igloo in Peace Plaza. It can fit around 150-175 people and will serve as a warming center throughout the event. It will also have outdoor fire pits for people to use to warm up.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
THURSDAY

1ST Avenue SW will close at 9am
SocialIce goes from 5-9pm.
Temperatures will hover around zero degrees. Wind chill will make for colder ‘feels like’ temperatures.

FRIDAY

SocialIce goes from 4-10pm.
This is expected to be the coldest day of the three-day event.

SATURDAY

SocialIce goes from 4-10pm.
SocialIce FAM JAM will go from 1-4pm. This family friendly event includes yoga, a s’mores bar, and community art project. Find more info here.

For more information on SocialIce 2019, click here

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Mason City
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Scattered showers on Thursday
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