Ice Castles and Palaces

The Winter Carnival continues . . .

Just for fun I thought I would post a few photos of the Ice Castles/Palaces we’ve had over the years.

We held our first Winter Carnival in 1886.  Below is a photo of the ice castle that year.

There was an ice castle the very next year, in 1887.

The photo below is of the 1988 castle and is on an old postcard.


The photo below is of the 1917 ice castle.

The ice castle in the photo below was from 1941.

The ice castle in the photo below was built for the 100th anniversary of the Winter Carnival – 1987.  I lived close to the park where that one was built.

The castle in the photo below was from 1992. 

The castle in the photo below was built for the 2004 Winter Carnival.  This is a day time photo and the castle was built  on one end of the downtown area.  A renovation of that particular block had left it vacant at just the right time for the castle.  It’s a transit hub now, so no more ice castles there.


The photo below shows the 2004 ice castle closer to sunset.  I loved this location because I could slide down the hill from where I work, grab a winter carnival lunch, and then hike back up the hill in time for my afternoon schedule.  The vantage point of the photo is actully looking up the hill.  Sliding down was more fun than the hike back up . . . .


F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story called “The Ice Palace.” Click the link to read it online.  Want to guess where he got is idea?  He used to live here!

Must go find my Winter Carnival Muff.  I designed it and knit it quite a while ago – for watching the Winter Carnival parades.  It’s a rather frivolous accessory these days, but I pull it out and use it once a year . . . . because I can, I suppose.



  1. 1
    Carol Says:

    Amazing work! I really like the lighting in the last photo. It would be fun to be able to slide down to the castle at lunch time!

    Here in Denver, I just get to see a lot of brown…

  2. 2
    Travis Says:

    Those really are incredible. It’s like a mix of artistry and architecture.

  3. 3

    Trav: They harvest the ice bolcks from a nearby lake, too. It’s an incredibly interesting process.

  4. 4

    Carol: I slid in my boots . . . too old for the” butt-in-plastic-garbage-bag-method” . . . . though I must admit to having done that on a giant ski slope in Wyoming, once. Stupid, really. I was lucky I didn’t hit a tree.

  5. 5
    Carol Says:

    The things we do when we’re young… If we make it past them, we get to be moms and then Grams, wondering what our offspring will get away with.

  6. 6
    Debra Says:

    Just breath taking! I can see right now, I might have to have some vacation days next January! LOL!

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