Many people who used to see the ice sculptures at Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre as children are now bringing their own children to see the Christmastime tradition.
The garden centre, located just east of the City of Red Deer, continued its annual ice sculpture tradition this past holiday season, with the theme of The Grinch, explained owner Gloria Beck.
“It was a theme we hadn’t done. There are a lot of people who like doing Grinch trees and that kind of thing at Christmas,” Beck told The Advocate on Monday.
“We thought it was one many generations could relate to as well.”
Due to extreme cold, it took a little longer than usual to complete the ice sculpture display – it was finished on Dec. 21.
“It’s detailed, but the poor sculptor definitely ran into challenges this year due to that extreme cold,” said Beck.
“Part of the display was up before (Dec. 21), but then we had to wait for … weather the sculptor could actually put it up because it was so cold, which makes the ice more fragile.”
The ice sculptures are Parkland Garden Centre’s “Christmas card to the community” every year, said Beck.
“We’ve got sponsors that enjoy being a part of it,” she said.
“It’s something that we like to think is part of an old-fashioned Christmas. People come out here with families – it’s an experience. When people come out with their families, they stroll into our Christmas shop, see the unique displays, have a cup of cider or coffee.
“We’ve been doing this for so many years, we’re now getting the children of yesteryear bringing their children because it was tradition for them growing up.”
There have been a good amount of people who came to see the ice sculptures this year, Beck added.
“On Christmas Eve we always leave the gates open until midnight, so anybody going to a late service could come and view these. There’s just a steady stream of cars that day, as well as the holidays,” she said.
The weather determines how much longer the ice sculptures will stand, Beck noted.
“When a Chinook comes in and it becomes unsafe for people to be around them, we then close them off,” she said.
“Parkland and all of the sponsors wish everybody the best in 2023.”