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October 27, 2017 6:56 pm

Downtown Winter Carnival Makes Its Debut

Sunday, February 12, 2017 @ 6:59 AM

Sculptor Peter Vogelaar prepares his Ice Throne for today’s finishing artistic touches at the Downtown Winter Carnival. Photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – The inaugural Downtown Winter Carnival celebrating all of the fun things to do in Prince George during the winter season is ready to roll at Veterans’ Plaza in front of City Hall.

The Winter Carnival is all about having fun and enjoying a wide range of activities outdoors.  You can pack your hockey stick and play in a road hockey game, ride the Snow Slide and the Cottonwood Express mini-train which will be set up near the Farmer’s Market.  There’s the Rukkus Rail Jam, the formerly-Snow-now-Ice-Throne, you can try your hand at snow art, snow golf and you can check out the volcanic ice cubes.

There’s also a Winter Market at the Legion and the Prince George Farmers Market will be open.  There’s plenty to eat available from the food vendors on site and there’s a friendly S’more competition with the participants raising funds for their favourite charitable organization.

The Winter Carnival runs from 11 am to 5 pm and fortunately you don’t have to brave minus 25 weather to take it all in.  The forecast is for a mix of sun and cloud and a high today of plus 4.

One of the many highlights is the work of sculptor Peter Vogelaar who hails from Winlaw, near Nelson.  He was busy in front of City Hall on Saturday, prepping his massive ice sculpture the Ice Throne which he will complete today.  He told us “we stacked all this ice this morning, the ice came from Ness Lake and actually we were really lucky because the Bible Camp had done a polar dip, right? “

“So we went to the place where the polar dip was and the ice was nice and thick, 18 inches.  Beyond that we wouldn’t have been able to cut because it was over two feet thick.  So this way I was able to get through the ice with my saw.”

“And they were so helpful, they provided a Bobcat to haul the ice because the blocks are 400 pounds.  There’s no way we could pull it out.  And then we loaded them on a truck and Viking brought them all in here, so it’s a real community event.”

Vogelaar figures they harvested about 3 tons of ice from Ness Lake and says “I’m really pleased with it, it’s pretty sweet and you can see the nice blue colour in it.  And once we clean off all my chainsaw marks and all this slush we locked the blocks together with, then I’ll start carving my details.”

His throne was originally supposed to have been sculpted out of snow.  “Ya that’s right,” says Peter “in the very beginning we thought we’d have lots of snow, and then when we realized that maybe there was no snow.  In fact Thursday it didn’t look like we had enough snow so I definitely needed ice.  Then the ice truck got lost and you aren’t going to buy ice, so then we go “let’s go out to the Bible Camp and carve some ice.”

He says ideally it would be great if the temperature today remained a little below zero.  “We just want it to stay cloudy, below freezing and I’ll be happy!”  But he adds that it’s the weather and you never know what might happen.  “Ya look at that snowstorm.  We went through such a roller coaster ‘cause I got here Tuesday night, Wednesday we drove around town trying to find snow.  Then we got it delivered Thursday, Friday we get all the snow we wanted out of the sky, so…”

Vogelaar is a very busy fellow during the winter.  He says “this is my third project in the last three weeks and I’m heading off to Prince Edward Island on Monday morning to do another one.

During the Winter Carnival today you can head over to the Ice Throne and take your pictures with it.


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