Mild winter weather is turning up the heat on an icy winter masterwork in Minnesota. As crews try to salvage what’s left of an ice castle display in Eden Prairie.
Bartelt says, “This is some of the building we did last night. It just started out as a single icicle.” With the temperatures finally dipping low enough… “We are sitting around just praying for good cold weather.” These ice castles are starting to take shape.
Nate Bartelt and his crew are working 12 hours days carefully crafting this ice made masterpiece. “The design is completely different we are trying out new features, hopefully have more slides and tunnels…. 80- 90 water lines are growing the massive piece of ice art.. only really started about a week ago.” Bartelt says: “with the warm weather we’ve had until Christmas, we just had to keep pushing it back. We don’t even have a set date yet. We’d see the forecast and say great we have a water turn on date! And then the temperatures rose and it’s been a great emotional rollercoaster.”
The hope to open to the public on January 4th has been shattered. Now the earliest the castle will be ready would be January 22.
With slick spots everywhere, we saw first hand why it’s simply unsafe to let the public in early. “Thank you.. I did not wear the right boots for this.”
“The helmet, the knee pads the crampons, so you don’t slip and hurt yourself.” All of this is just the tip of the ice berg. Thousands of icicles are being farmed each day in order to create the castle crews are envisioning. Nelson says: “like this, perfect, right here about 2 feet long.” Nelson says: “It takes half a day to get all the way through it. It’s fun. I like it, you know, you must love the cold weather and I do.”
Eventually there will be led lights just as we saw last year and several improvements from 2013. When the company first came to Minnesota outside the Mall of America. “It all depends where the wind is coming from and how everything is growing. We just depend 100% on the weather and we can’t control much of it.” What they can control looks like it is going to be impressive once again. Bartelt says: “I want this to be up to the sky and open.”