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Freezefest Brings Ice Sculptures To Bloomington Despite Warmer Temperatures

An ice sculpture being prepared for Bloomington's first FreezeFest.

An ice sculpture being prepared for Bloomington's first Freezefest. (Zach Herndon, WFIU/WTIU News)

Bloomington’s first Freezefest is underway despite daytime highs forecasted to reach 60 degrees by Saturday.

Aaric Kendall is the operations manager for Ice of America, the company tasked with creating over 40 ice sculptures for viewing at the city’s first Freezefest. The internationally-recognized master ice carvers traveled from their home states of Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Texas to display their artistry.   

Kendall says the sculptures can take anywhere from one to three hours to complete depend on the size and design.

“They are going to vary in size you’re going to see stuff from the 300-pound mark but just like -- behind us now -- some 1,200-pound sculptures," he says.

According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday will see a high of 40 degrees, Thursday 54 degrees and Friday and Saturday will both see a high of 60 degrees -- not exactly ideal conditions for ice sculptors.

Kendall says 25 degrees is the ideal outdoor temperature to carve ice sculptures, but they have a way to deal with the warmer weather.

“Carve sculptures in pieces and put them into the refrigerated semi-trucks and then pull them out and put them together and make a larger sculpture," he says.

Wednesday's events include the four largest sculptures being placed at People’s Park, Upland, The B-Line Trail at Seventh Street and the Courthouse Square. Spectators can also observe the carving process from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Trades District.

The festivities run through Saturday and include interactive games like ping pong, cornhole and plinko, a kids zone and Chilly Cook-Off. A complete list of events can be found on their website.

This story has been updated.

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