Ithaca Ice Wars 2011

Ice sculpture at the entrance to the Ithaca Commons Ice Wars competitions. I wish I had taken a couple steps to the left to get the dancing sculpture centered in the ice circle, but I was more focused on including the Christmas lights and didn't even notice this until I was processing.

Ithaca may be “ten square miles surrounded by reality” as the bumper sticker states – but sometimes Ithaca can be pretty gosh darned cool.  Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend one of those gosh darned cool events (literally and figuratively):  Ithaca Ice Wars.

Ithaca Ice Wars is two days of ice craving contests that take place on The Commons in downtown Ithaca.  Last year I was out of town for this and I was determined to visit this year.  Unfortunately as this is the busiest time of year I was going to be out of town again on the Sat – but I would have time to attend the speed carving competitions on Friday night.

Really, Really glad I did.  Hubby joined me and we watched a block of ice become these amazing creations.  There are two contestant heats with the audience acting as judges for each heat.  Each heat is twenty minutes long.

Ithaca Ice Wars

The sculptors all wore waterproof snow gear as there were ice chips flying everywhere!

How's this for framing?? I have no idea how this person managed to see what they were doing their glasses were so fogged up!

The most interesting part of the evening was after the timed contest was over, the contestants were given a blow torch to “clear up” their entries.  Who knew that flame would take the sculptures from translucent blocks of ice to clear and sparkly works of art??

Ithaca Ice Wars

Both of the sculptures I’ve shown here won their respective heats.  Unfortunately my knees couldn’t take kneeling on the cold concrete much longer so hubby and I stopped and got hot cider and a mocha and then decided to head out to get some dinner.  So I don’t know if one of these people ultimately won the contest – but all were deserving.  It was so much fun to watch.  I can’t wait to go back next year and see the other competitions they do on Saturdays!!

Have fun!!


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