10 Jan Chinese Ice Festival


ice3While many in the Washington area headed inside to escape temperatures near zero degrees in the past week, even colder temperatures in northeast China didn’t deter visitors to a popular annual outdoor attraction.

Thousands of people attended the first week of the 15th annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. The festival, which opened January 5, features huge sculptures made from snow or blocks of ice weighing hundreds of pounds.

Visitors can walk inside some of the sculptures. Several structures resemble famous buildings, such as the Colosseum in Rome and the Empire State Building in New York.

Colored LED lights illuminate the entire ice village.

About 7,000 workers began creating the sculptures in November, using more than 6 million cubic feet of ice and 5 million cubic feet of man-made snow.ice4

They also created an ice slide that is 787 feet long.

If the weather remains cold enough, visitors can attend the festival through February 28.Other attractions at the festival include athletic events such as skiing, ice sailing, speedskating and swimming. More than 700 competitors tried to swim across a 25-meter outdoor pool during an opening-day contest. The temperature outside the water dipped to 17 degrees below zero that day. Brrr!



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