Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Embrace the Beauty of the Cold at These Top 10 Ice and Snow Festivals Around the World

TORONTO, ON -- (Marketwired) -- As the frigid temperatures grip the country, one way to beat the winter blues is to embrace the cold and make the most of the season's beauty. The travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have gathered their picks for the Top 10 Ice and Snow Festivals around the World. These winter festivals feature incredible frozen works of art on display along with the outdoor winter wonderlands of fun to enjoy all bundled up with family, friends, and a big cup of hot chocolate.

Grab your toque, mitts and warm winter coat and venture out to one of these five snow and ice festivals to make the list:

  • Ice on Whyte Festival, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - January 23 - February 1, 2015 - The chainsaws and chisels fire up on January 23, kicking off 10 days of outdoor art, music, food and fun at Alberta, Canada's Ice on Whyte Festival. Ice-carving artists from as far as Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Malaysia compete against local teams, making their way through more than 500 blocks of ice weighing 70,200 kilograms.
  • Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships, Breckenridge, Colorado - Stomping (technical) week: January 19-23. Competition: January 27-31 - Fire and ice are the theme in Colorado this year with a hot new element on display at the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships. There are 16 teams made up of four artists from 10 different countries territories including Mongolia, Germany, Ukraine, Mexico, China, Argentina, Lithuania, Spain, France and the United States. Each team is given a 3.7 metre high, 18,144 kilogram block of snow to start with and has 65 hours to complete their masterpiece.
  • BP World Ice Art Championships, Fairbank, Alaska - February 23 - March 29, 2015 - Founded in April 1990, the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbank, Alaska, has grown from a week-long, eight-team competition to a month-long event featuring 70 teams of expert carvers. Run by a team of more than 300 volunteers, the Championships brings 45,000 visitors to the town. One major draw is the Frozen Kids Park, which is like any other playground except it is constructed entirely from ice with slides, rides and mazes!
  • Snowking, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada - March 1-31 2015 - The capital and largest community in the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, hosts the annual Snowking event, which is a month long community celebration. Each March, a winter wonderland is created on Yellowknife Bay with the creation of the legendary Snowcastle. Built from the ice and snow of Great Slave Lake, the Snowcastle is the centrepiece of the Snowking calendar, celebrating arts and culture and showing-off all that Yellowknife has to offer.
  • Ice Music Festival, Geilo, Norway - February 5-8, 2015 - Trust the residents of frozen northern Norway to take ice festivals to a whole new level! Each year under the full moon, the tiny town of Geilo hosts a unique artistic event -- the Ice Music Festival where all the instruments are made from ice just hours before each concert! Listen to folk, jazz, contemporary, "electronic"-style music and even the sounds of Africa, performed on icy chimes, glockenspiel, cello, horn and harp. Concerts are held in a variety of venues, but one event is more extreme than the others. Held at the stroke of midnight, it is accessible only by ski and takes place in an actual Viking gravesite!

Rounding out this list of frozen fun are: International Festival-Competition of Snow and Ice Sculpture, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, January 13-19, 2015; Sapporo Snow Festival, Hokkaido, Japan, February 5 - 11, 2015; Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, Harbin, China, January 5 - February 25, 2015; Concours International de Sculpture sur Glace et sur Neige, Valloire, France, January 13-16, January 20-23, 2015; and International Ice Sculpture Festival, Jelgava, Latvia, February 1 - 8, 2015. To read the details on these and Cheapflights.ca's Top 10 Ice and Snow Festivals around the World, visit www.cheapflights.ca/news/top-10-ice-and-snow-festivals-around-the-world.

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