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About the Competition




Teams are composed of one to two members.  Each team is given one block of ice. Block dimensions are approximately 5ft x 8ft x 3ft (1.5m x 2.4m x 0.9m). Each block weighs about 7,800 lbs. Once the ice block is positioned to the sculptor’s satisfaction, the sculptors are on their own. No additional mechanical or power devices can be used to move and/or lift the ice. Artists can request the assistance of competing team members when more people power is required to move/lift the ice into position. Teams may work around the clock. Most work long hours in order to complete their sculpture on time.

The Single Block Classic, is the first competition of Ice Alaska.  It starts at 9 AM on the last Monday of February and ends 60 hours later, the following Wednesday, at 9 PM.  The finished pieces are then judged under white lights. After judging is completed, the finished sculpture will be illuminated with colored lights for the public to view. The awards are presented at 8 PM on Friday about 24 hours after the pieces are completed. The judges and lighting work fast to make this happen! The results are spectacular!




Teams are composed of two to four sculptors. No more are allowed. Four-member teams are encouraged. Each team is given 10 blocks of ice. Each ice block measures approximately 4ft x 6ft x 3.3ft. (1.2m x 1.8m x 1.0m). Each team will be sculpting a minimum of 46,000 pounds of ice. Teams use hand and/or power tools to cut and shape the ice and may work around the clock if they choose.

The sculptures created sometimes attain heights of more than 25 feet. Therefore, Ice Alaska provides heavy equipment and operators to lift and position the ice. The equipment operators, all volunteers, work with the sculptors to delicately move the ice into the artist’s desired location. Without the help of the operators, the final product would be impossible. The artists fully realize this, and give high praise to the operations crew. The final ice sculpture is teamwork at its best.

The Multi-Block Classic is the second competition, and begins at 9 AM on Saturday, following the Single Block Competition, and ends at 9 PM on Thursday or 132 hours later. The artists are then given an additional hour and a half to clean the sculpting site. The finished pieces are judged under white lights. After judging is completed, the finished sculpture will be illuminated with colored lights for the public to view.  The awards are presented at 8 PM on Friday night.



With a grant from Fairbanks Youth Sports and money provided by Clarence Beers for the Ivalie Cox “Sculpting the Future Program,” Ice Alaska artists have developed an ice sculpting curriculum that can be taught in local schools. To encourage the students to continue to use their sculpting skills in competitions, the Ice Alaska Youth Classic is held the week of the Fairbanks North Star Borougn School District Spring Break. The youth competition was held for the first time in 2006 with six, two person teams from four area high schools. The new site has 15 sites and hopes to draw artists from throughout Alaska and the even the world. There is no fee to register for the Youth Event.
To qualify for the competition team members must be students enrolled in Jr. High or High School and parental permission. Teams are provided one ice block, 3’ x 5’x 4,’ The block weighs approximately 3,600 lbs. Once the ice block is placed, the youth team may not use motorized tools or equipment to move the block. Experienced artists are on hand to assist with requested chainsaw cuts, and to answer questions, and offer technical assistance allowed within the competition guidelines.  Award of medals and gift certificates are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.



The Amateur Open exhibition is an opportunity for artists to try out some ideas on a block of ice without the stress of competition. Contestants can register and sculpt on a flexible schedule. The exhibition tends to be more relaxed, because artists are working at their own pace with smaller pieces of ice, but official photographers make every effort to document the progress of each sculpture.

Teams usually consist of one to two sculptors, but since it is an exhibition the only hard and fast rule is  - safety first.  Participants under 16 years of age must have parental permission and be accompanied by an adult while they are working. The Amateur Open starts on the day after the Single Classic and ends on the same day the Youth competition ends on a Friday in the middle of March.

Twenty spaces are set aside for the Amateur Open Exhibition. The finished sculptures are illuminated with colored lights for the public to view.  Amateur Open teams are recognized at the Youth Ice Art Championship Awards Ceremony on the Saturday night after the sculpting time ends.