October 19, 2018
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Ice castles nearly ready for viewing in New Hampshire

Jim Cole | AP
Jim Cole | AP
Patrons tour an ice castle at the base of the Loon Mountain ski resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire, Jan. 8, 2014. The ice castles are expected to be open again in January 2018.

LINCOLN, New Hampshire — Hand-crafted ice castle sculptures are expected to be ready for public viewing in Lincoln, New Hampshire, during the first week of January.

The castles, that have been under construction for weeks thanks to the continuing cold weather, include art that is made up of 25 million pounds of ice spiraling to heights around 40 feet. The ice also embedded with color-changing LED lights set to a musical soundtrack.

The castles will continue growing during the season until they melt in March. Walls that stand 8 feet to 20 feet could reach up to 60 feet in the next month.

The process starts in the fall, with the installation of elaborate sprinkler systems. When the weather turns cold, water is sprayed onto metal racks to produce thousands of icicles that are harvested and stuck to the ground around sprinkler heads.

The icicles are then drenched in water and, depending on the temperature and wind, grow in various shapes and formations. Over the course of a few weeks, towers, tunnels, archways and caves emerge.

The New Hampshire sculpture is one of five being built by the Ice Castles company. The others are in Midway, Utah; Dillon, Colorado; Stillwater, Minnesota; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Edmonton, Alberta.

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