Three eye-catching ice sculptures are being created this week to draw more people to downtown Red Deer.
The pandemic is continuing to cause great hardship for many restaurants and retail businesses, said Amanda Gould, executive-director of the Downtown Business Association.
“It’s been a really tough time,” she added, so the DBA has commissioned Mark Berge from the Ice on Whyte festival in Edmonton, to create ice sculptures at three central locations.
Gould said the goal is to attract more people to the city’s core while also giving a boost to local arts and culture in the midst of a dull pandemic January.
The sculptures, featuring a bee, a deer and other animals, will be completed by Wednesday afternoon.
When all three are finished, they can be viewed outside La Casa Pergola and Original Joe’s restaurants, as well as on the Ross Street Patio, near the Red Deer Cenotaph.
The Ross Street Patio was winterized so nearby restaurants could serve people outdoors under heaters. But restrictions announced by Premier Jason Kenney before Christmas to slow down the spread of COVID-19 put a stop to all in-person restaurant service — even outdoor service.
Gould said restaurant owners planning to reopen the Ross Street Patio as soon as these restrictions are lifted
In the meantime, she hopes people who come downtown to have a look at the sculptures will remember that most restaurants offer take-out and delivery service, and that downtown retailers are still open for business.