WEST HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — World champions and former Olympic ice sculptors have made their way to Northeastern Pennsylvania.
A local restaurant welcomes the champs as they combine forces for the greater good.
A parade of animals migrated from Alaska to Pennsylvania, created from the hands of world-champion ice sculptors.
Damenti’s Restaurant invited professional ice carvers to create a herd of animals out of about 20 tons of ice for display.
Ice sculpture aficionado and Damenti’s owner Kevin McDonald, knew he needed to bring in the best.
“You know I thought it was good for Wilkes-Barre, but once you go to Alaska to the world championships you go, ‘holy smokes’,” said McDonald.
McDonald used an insulated trailer with freezing-cold air to create an indoor space for the artists. It offers a similar climate to Alaska.
So far, the visiting ice carvers are enjoying their vacation to the Keystone State.
“When the opportunity came up when I got invited I said yeah I’d like to go. It’s been wonderful,” said Steve Dean, World Champion, and Former Olympic Ice Sculptor.
“It’s fun to come to different places and meet new people and experience different venues and share the love, that passion that we have for ice sculpting with other people,” Heather Brice, 10-Time World Champion Ice Sculptor.
The world champions are used to facing off in this frozen form of art.
“The camaraderie amongst ice carvers is exceptional. Even though you’re competing against one another, and these guys have all competed against one another, but they’re working as a team now,” said McDonald.
The team works diligently within the indoor winter wonderland, even if they are used to a bigger canvas.
“This is what’s called Clinebell ice, which is 300-pound blocks. We normally do 3,000-pound blocks and making them fit for a rhinoceros, a big grizzly bear, and all sorts of things,” said Steve Brice, 21-Time World Champion and Former Olympic Ice Sculptor.
The ICE4U2C animal parade is not created just for its visual appeal. All proceeds that are made from the display will be donated to six different charities.
The artists are happy to have their creations help the greater good.
“Ya, it’s good to be able to do things to help people while you’re on the planet, you know,” said Dean.
The donations will be given to the United Way of Greater Hazleton, Allied Services, The Palermo Foundation, Helping Hands of Greater Hazleton, S.A.F.E, and Ice Alaska.
The ICE4U2C event will begin Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. and continue through February 28.