Our group met up at 10:00, with the actual festival beginning at 9:30. That was still early enough that we could see the prep work of the artists as they readied their blocks of ice for the competition. Each carver starts with a block of ice weighing approximately 260 pounds. It seemed as if there were fewer ice carvers this year, although there were a few who were just beginning to carve as I was leaving a little after 1:00. So perhaps they staggered the start times in an effort to give more visitors an opportunity to see a piece from start to finish.
The crowds are usually pretty light in the morning, so it was easy to get around and take pictures of the artists at work. We basically all headed off on our own for a little over an hour to get the shots we wanted. By that time we were pretty cold, so we went into one of the local restaurants to grab lunch. This is what happens when five photographers sit down to eat. Ha!
|tools of the trade|
Following lunch we braced ourselves to once again face the cold, and headed back down the street to see what the artists had accomplished in our absence. The crowds were much larger, and tons of people had their dogs - large and small - with them as well. It was harder to get good photos without someone in the way. I checked out a few of the new artists just beginning their sculptures, and then took off for home. I think I was the last woman standing from our group at that point. Despite the chill in the air, it was a cool event to photograph. Bah!