Ice Castle Returns to Eagle River

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email

It is an iconic part of Eagle River's winter, and thanks to the cold weather, the ice castle is up for the first time in two years.

Winters past have been too mild to construct the castle, so this year's model is a welcomed site. The Eagle River ice castle has been put up since 1933 first by a tavern, trying to attract more tourism to the area. Now, it is put up by the Eagle River Fire Department, and it takes a lot of work to put together.

First, they score and pull out over 2,000 blocks of ice from a local lake, and then the real work begins.

"We shave the ice and it makes it a lot easier on construction, once we have enough ice already shaved, then we start laying it out, and start building the towers," said Deputy Fire Chief, Jim Bonson, "and then the walls, start putting together, that process will take up 2 or 3 days to get where what you see right now."

Jim said the ice castle only costs a few hundred dollars to put up, many businesses chip in some money, and offer hot food and drinks to those working on it in the cold.

If you would like to visit the ice castle on Highway 45 North in Eagle River, it is free. There is a donation site for visitors. The money goes to help the fire department teach our kids about fire safety and prevention.

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