Wizards of Is

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DETROIT LAKES, MN—Creators of last year's King Isbit's Ice Palace are preparing to bring back the Spirit of the North with the building of an Ice Throne this year. In a few days, the construction of this year’s ice structure for Detroit Lakes’ Polar Fest will begin. Last weekend, hundreds of ice blocks were harvested from Little Detroit Lake and builders of last year’s popular Ice Palace are teaming up again this year to build King Isbit’s Throne. Detroit Lakes’ own sculptor Hans Gilsdorf explains the Ice Harvest Committee came to the decision to build a smaller, but equally fun, throne of ice this year because they didn't want be repetitive with a palace and they wanted to hone their ability to harvest their own ice and their ice sculpting skills as they look forward to 2021 and the building of a bigger castle in light of Detroit Lakes Sesquicentennial or the celebration of the city’s150th birthday.

Gilsdorf says this year’s throne will also feature a little different lighting and a bigger “royal court” with fire pits and benches. Gilsdorf and landscaper Lance Akers along with about a 25 member volunteer crew will begin building the 12-foot high, 300-ice block throne and royal courtyard Monday (Jan. 14th) weather permitting. It’s part of what’s being termed the Minnesota Snow and Ice Showcase, or “MN Sn’Ice” taking place in the Detroit Lakes City Park and Public Beach on Feb 7-17th. Event Committee member Scott Walz says the Palatial Playground will also return. He says it’s going to have the sliding again and hopefully incorporate more tunnels fun things for kids to do “to get out there and embrace the North.”

“That’s really what this is all about,” says Walz. “We live up here. We love it here. Let’s embrace it all year round.”

There will be a grand lighting ceremony the evening of Thursday, February 7th.


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