The Ice Festival in Central Park

A view of Belvedere Castle seated next to Turtle Pond.

A view of Belvedere Castle seated next to Turtle Pond.

Winter in NYC offers many sightseeing perks. The one I am still waiting on is a heavy snow fall so I can go exploring and see buildings and parks covered in snow. In the meantime, Central Park had it’s second annual Ice Festival. It was held on the grounds of Belvedere Castle. The carvers came from the Okamoto Studio, which is based in Long Island City, and were set up to carve a replica of the castle behind them.

I got there a bit before the noon start time and scoped out the best spot with as unobstructed a view as I could find while the studio set up the ice for carving.

The view from my position in front of the castle.

The view from my position in front of the castle.

The castle itself wanted in on the ice fun. Although this is from a drainage exhaust, usually used for waste.

The castle itself wanted in on the ice fun. Although this is from a drainage exhaust, usually used for waste.

At noon, they promptly started work.

The beginning: the blocks are stacked.

The beginning: the blocks are stacked.

Reading the blueprints and sketching on the ice.

Reading the blueprints and sketching on the ice.

Let the chainsawing fill the air with noise and snow!

Let the chainsawing fill the air with noise and snow!

Cutting through ice like butter.

Cutting through ice like butter.

The first stage of negative space removal is over.

The first stage of negative space removal is over.

Tag teaming the sculpt.

Tag teaming the sculpt.

Beginning work on the tower.

Beginning work on the tower.

Phase one of the tower complete.

Phase one of the tower complete.

Hey, that looks pretty good.

Hey, that looks pretty good.

This is the early view of the crowd, with the ice sculpture in front of the castle. It got much more crowded as time went on.

This is the early view of the crowd, with the ice sculpture in front of the castle. It got much more crowded as time went on.

I took a walk in the middle of the sculpting for two reasons: 1) it would give them time to make progress in such a way to dramatically change what I was seeing, and 2) I was hungry. So I got a pretzel off a street vender, took a walk around Turtle Pond, and then returned to see the progress. This time I moved to the other side of the sculpt. However, the crowd had grown, so I had to jockey for position to get shots without people and their heads in the way.

Detail work has begun.

Detail work has begun.

Look at that tower.

Look at that tower.

So, what should we do next?

So, what should we do next?

Brick work has begun on one side.

Brick work has begun on one side.

Checking the source material to verify some work. Better than blueprints.

Checking the source material to verify some work. Better than blueprints.

More brickwork and windows carved in.

More brickwork and windows carved in.

Carving in more bricks.

Carving in more bricks.

Detail of the windows.

Detail of the windows.

That's a lot of brickwork.

That’s a lot of brickwork.

The final sculpt. Notice the rock carving on the bottom.

The final sculpt. Notice the rock carving on the bottom.

The entire sculpt took about 3 hours. During this, the Central Park Conservancy had various tours and informational sessions on the park itself. There was also hot chocolate to help keep everyone warm. It was a very interesting day.

Next week: Some views of the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

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About nsantasier

I am an actor, fight choreographer, playwright, and photographer based in and around NYC. I shoot on a Canon Rebel XS with either a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens or a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom lens as they are the only lenses I currently own.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Art, Artsy, Belvedere Castle, Central Park, Monument, nature, NYC, Park, People, Sculpture, The Ramble, Winter. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Ice Festival in Central Park

  1. Pingback: Valentine’s Day Ice Show in Central Park | Visions of my World

  2. Pingback: The 2017 Ice Festival and Carvings | Visions of my World

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