Ice sculpture display at Parkland Nurseries ready to dazzle

Ice sculpture display at Parkland Nurseries ready to dazzle

Popular annual Christmas season attraction open daily until 9 p.m. off Highway 11

In a tradition that has spanned generations, Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre’s ice sculptures are back.

Parkland owner Gloria Beck is not sure exactly how long they have been immortalizing the Christmas spirit in ice.

“It’s over 30 years. We’ve been doing this a long time,” said Beck.

“We now have people who were young people when their parents brought them out to see it. Now they’re married, and they’re bringing their kids out to see it.

“So, it’s become a tradition.”

The ice sculptures park means a lot to Parkland and the businesses that help support it every year.

“We, along with our sponsors, consider this our Christmas card to the community.”

Eighteen businesses, including The Red Deer Advocate, have stepped up this year to support The Lion King-themed ice sculptures park at the nursery on Highway 11, just east of Red Deer.

As soon as the temperature starts dropping, the telephone calls start coming in, said Beck.

“The phone rings off the hook. They think they can pry the theme out of me,” she said with a laugh.

“Every year, we come up with a different theme.

“And it’s kept under wraps until the ice is here, and (the sculptor) starts working on it.”

Calgary ice sculptor Lee Ross is the man behind the hammer and chisel. He started getting this year’s display ready last weekend.

“He wanted to finish them by yesterday, but it went above 0 C,” said Beck Wednesday.

Instead, Ross returned Wednesday evening to put the finishing touches on his creations, which are illuminated by floodlights evenings until nine.

Beck said she and Ross put their heads together earlier this year to come up with The Lion King theme.

“We start throwing ideas around. We’ve done a lot over the years. This year, we played around with what have we done, what would the kids really like.

“When you walk out there, you’ll notice the sculptures are sort of in a circle. It’s not as spread out as in past years.

“This is to represent the circle of life. There is meaning behind everything Lee does. He’s a true artist.”

Visitors will see most of The Lion King’s favourite characters, such as Simba, Nala and Zazu, among others. Scar and his hyena henchmen are also represented in ice.

The best part of the annual event is how it has been embraced by the community, especially families, she said.

“We’ve had tour buses come by. We’ve had families in limos who are going sightseeing. What we see are families coming out.

“We really do feel the spirit of Christmas here.”

How long the ice sculptures last is up to Mother Nature. In the coldest years, they have been intact almost until spring.

“Most years, by mid-January and into February, between the wind and the sun, they are starting to deteriorate.”

Unless a chinook comes through in the next week or two, it is a pretty safe bet the ice sculptures display will be at its best through the Christmas season.

Those who drop by are asked to bring a donation for the Red Deer Food Bank.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

A woman wearing a mask talks on her phone near an exhibition depicting a rover in Mars in Beijing on Friday, May 14, 2021. China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are to land on the red planet sometime between early Saturday morning and Wednesday Beijing time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
China Mars rover to land between Saturday and Wednesday

Only the United States has successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee as Israeli artillery pounds northern Gaza

Israel called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Opinion
Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Most Read