Last month, Minnesota Ice delivered 750,000 pounds of ice to The Zephyr Theatre for the Ice Palace MAZE, which opened Jan. 22. Robbie Harrell, CEO of Minnesota Ice based in St. Paul, said it took 15 semi-tractor trucks to deliver close to 2,000 blocks of man-made ice for the build.
Now, Minnesota Ice has made one more delivery to the theatre.
A 7.5-foot-by-5-foot ice sculpture — an outline of the state of Minnesota with the hashtag onlyinMN — has been added to the maze’s ice art show. This sculpture acknowledges Explore Minnesota, the tourism-promotion organization that gave the theatre a $25,000 new-events grant for maze construction.
The Zephyr’s new sculpture is among at least 35 ice sculptures featured in a new treasure hunt that will run from Feb. 19 to Feb. 28. This artwork is located in front of the theatre’s west entry doors. Other ice sculptures are “hidden” near wineries, breweries, bakeries, parks and other locations within the Greater Twin Cities area.
To find the sculptures, ice hunters will need a map, and that’s where Ice Sculpture Exploration comes into play. GetKnit, a St. Paul events company, has teamed up with Minnesota Ice to create the self-guided adventure.
GetKnit Owner Nick Blake said his company is focused on supporting the community, local artists, and small businesses. Harrell’s company is among the biggest ice suppliers in North America and has a stable of three resident ice sculptors.
Together, buddies Blake and Harrell hatched a plan to place hand-carved piece of ice art around The Cities to entice cooped-up residents to get outside to find sculpted ice, explore different locations, patronize small businesses and support the arts.
Calyssa Hall, The Zephyr’s executive director, is happy to have her theatre “on the map.” She said she is hopeful hunters not only discover the theatre’s new sculpture but also take time to wander through the Ice Palace MAZE.
Thousands of kids and adults have already come to the maze, chatted with Elsa the Snow Queen, zipped down the ice slides and huddled around fire pits.
Iceman Harrell, who admitted he got caught up in the enthusiasm over the theatre’s big ice idea, said he hadn’t wandered through The Zephyr’s maze yet. But he’ll get there, he promised, as soon as temperatures warm up a bit.
The Ice Palace MAZE is family friendly and coronavirus-rules compliant. Masks are required inside the theatre and recommended outside. As always, social distancing is to be observed.
Hours are 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are free for kids 4 and younger, $10 for ages 5-12, $15 for ages 13 and older. To order tickets, go to www.icepalacemaze.com.
Ice Sculpture Exploration tickets are $19 and include a map to the sculpture locations and information about business discounts, contests, and prizes. To order tickets, visit www.getknitevents.com/ice-sculpture-exploration.