Chipping away at it
Work has begun on the royal transformation of the Detroit Lakes City Beach and Park into a winter wonderland fit for a king.
On Monday, volunteers embarked on the chilly task of constructing a giant throne of ice on the beach near the Pavilion. The throne will serve as the centerpiece of King Isbit's Royal Courtyard and Palatial Playground, a big feature of this year's Polar Fest.
Once the throne is complete, it's sure to be the site of thousands of selfies and family photos taken during Polar Fest. A Grand Lighting of the throne will kick off the 12-day festival at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7.
A team of several volunteer construction workers has been hard at it in single-digit temperatures this week, bundled up in their warmest winter gear as they stack 600-pound ice blocks for the throne structure, which includes a decorative backdrop wall. The blocks — about 300 in all — were harvested from Detroit Lake on Jan. 5.
Hans Gilsdorf, a local artist and the Royal Courtyard's lead designer, said this year's throne will be bigger, better lit and more intricately decorated than last year's, which sat in the same spot on the beach as a secondary feature to the festival's first-ever Ice Palace.
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