Construction of Alaska ice playground begins ahead of world ice sculpture championships

Associated Press

Construction of an ice playground has begun in an Alaska city ahead of its annual world ice sculpture championships.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/Q6x6Zf) workers began building the playground Monday at the George Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks.

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The playground will feature a pirate ship slide made from 65 refrigerator-sized blocks of ice.

Ice championships chairman Dick Brickley says a giant ice lens also is planned for the park. He says it will be 12 feet in diameter and powerful enough to focus the sun's rays and start a fire.

The attractions must be completed by the time the park opens Feb. 23. That's when teams of artists participating in the 2015 BP World Ice Art championships begin making sculptures.

The artists are from 16 countries.

Brickley says the ice being harvested this year is crystal-clear aqua blue.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com