Volunteers Working On Ice Palace For Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes

The Building Blocks Are 500 pound Ice Blocks Harvested From Detroit Lake

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The sounds of cranes grabbing, hammers hammering and chainsaws sawing into tons of ice.

It’s all a part of the preparation for one of the biggest winter events in Lakes Country: Polar Fest.

The building blocks used for this ice castle and all the other decorations for the festival are these 500 pound ice blocks that had to be harvested from Detroit Lakes, there are about 1,100 of these that have already been made and getting this all set up on time takes a lot of work.

“We have great volunteers a great city that supports this project. Our motto is for the community by the community and today we have over 25 volunteers working giving up their time to build this ice palace,”Ice Palace Designer, Hans Gilsdorf said.

Hans designs the palace every year.

He says they are learning how to improve the project every year and this year are making the structure more accessible for seniors and differently abled people.

This giant palace under construction will host the throne for the winter spirit, King Isbit.

“That’s why we build the throne, so in a sense we build this huge throne that’s oversized so kids of all ages when they sit on his throne will feel like a child yourself,” Gilsdorf said.

Building the throne for the good king and for the thousands in lakes country that descend for this week plus long event takes months of planning.

“Starting around July I designed this ice palace, I designed the last two ice palaces, so it’s kind of weird to think in July we are thinking ice so that way when we are ready to build our palace for this coming year,” Gilsdorf said.

Everything from the workers to the tools and construction vehicles are all donated to help get everything set up, and Hans says the turnout every year is amazing to see.

“We have met people from every continent on the planet and it’s amazing to see the scope of where people come from and they come to Detroit Lakes and our area and have a good time being outdoors,” Gilsdorf said.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News