November 01, 2019 at 12:38pm |
For the third year in a row, the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Office of Tourism will present the Fire & Ice Festival on Jan. 24-26, 2020. The 2020 Fire & Ice Festival will have an “Out of This World” theme. According to the Fire & Ice Festival’s website, expect UFO’s, rocket ships, aliens, shooting stars, and galaxies built by ice sculptors, Ice Lab. After the event has ended, Ice Lab will “clean up” by smashing the sculptures into pieces.
(Credit: The Quiet Resorts)
The event features space-themed sculptures, events, and activities. Activities include juggling exhibitions, bonfires, movies, stargazing and a live sculpture demonstration with ice vendor Ice Lab from Baltimore, Maryland, which will take place throughout the weekend.
(Credit: The Quiet Resorts)
New this year, the festival will expand outside of Bethany Beach, reaching down route 26 into Ocean View and Millville, with a large interactive sculpture in each town.
Before attending the event, why not take the opportunity to learn more about ice sculptures. Ice sculptures date back approximately 4,000 years when Inuits in present-day Alaska and Canada harvested ice from frozen lakes to build insulated shelters, AKA igloos. The artistic sculpting of ice is believed to have begun in China, though. Throughout the 1800s, the demand for ice increased, especially in places where it didn’t naturally exist year-round. The first application of ice as an art medium is believed to have been in 1892 when renowned French chef Auguste Escoffier created an ice sculpture of a swan to accompany a new dessert he made. During the 1980s, ice increasingly rose to prominence as an art medium in the United States, and an entire industry spawned around it. In 1987, the National Ice Carving Association (NICA) was formed to “promote ice sculpting as an art form;” a year later, ice sculpting became a Cultural Olympiad event at the Olympics.
Almost anything can be sculpted out of ice, whether it’s a corporate logo or figure of a person. Ice sculptures are lit by using cool temperature battery operated lights. Ice sculptures range anywhere from 12” and used as table centerpieces to 60” and used as the focal point of an event. Some ice sculptures at grand openings or concerts are as high as 30 feet tall. Depending on the size, ice sculptures range from 150 to 250 pounds. Ice sculptures can take anywhere from 4 to 6 days on average to create.
The thicker an ice sculpture is the longer it will take to melt all the way through. Typically large sculptures will not lose one block without a large portion of the structure coming down. A single block sculpture will last about 5-7 hours in 85 degrees, 6-8 hours in 72 degrees, 12 or more hours in 50 degrees. If an ice sculpture can be placed in the shade, it will make it last hours longer.