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2 million pounds of ice are behind new Aurora ice exhibition

This year's ice exhibition will use million pounds of ice to celebrate the 1983 holiday classic "A Christmas Story."

AURORA, Colo. — More than two million pounds of ice have been transformed into a winter wonderland in Aurora.

Gaylord Rockies has opened its annual holiday tradition "ICE!" This year's ice exhibition has used million pounds of ice to celebrate the 1983 holiday film "A Christmas Story."

Gaylord Rockies said specialized ice carvers began with 6,000 ice blocks to create the 17,000-square-foot frozen attraction.

The carvers began work on the exhibition in October. The forty artisans traveled more than 5,700 miles from "Ice City" Harbin, China, home to the world’s largest annual ice and snow sculpting festival. The resort said each artisan brought a unique skill to the table, with some specializing in demolition by chainsaw and others in carving precise details.

Colored ice, clear ice and LED lights have created 10 scenes from "A Christmas Story," including the old man's major award, Aunt Clara's pink nightmare, the ultimate triple dog dare and more. The exhibition will also has two-story-tall ice slides, ice tunnels and arches and a separate area dedicated to a Nativity scene.

The environment is kept frozen by a chilling system that maintains the attraction’s temperature at 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Guests get to wear a blue parka to stay warm inside the exhibition.

The exhibition first appeared at Gaylord Rockies in 2019.

“ICE! has been a tradition at Gaylord Hotels for two decades now,” said General Manager Suzy Hart. “This is the first time Rockies has put on ‘A Christmas Story’ and watching people come together to enjoy it never gets old.”

Gaylord Rockies has also brought its family-friendly cirque show, "Cirque: Spirit of Christmas," back for a second holiday season at the Bubly Theater.

The 75-minute family-friendly show centers on Noel, a young child who recaptures her love of the holiday season in a dreamlike adventure that rekindles the spirit of Christmas. 

Performances feature high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, elaborate staging, and an original Broadway-style score directed by renowned Neil Goldberg.

Gaylord Rockies said the show features a cast of 25 artists from Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Mongolia, Russia, and the United States.

Gaylord Rockies said its other holiday season activities this year include a Naughty or Nice escape room, gingerbread decorating, elf training academy, scavenger hunt, Mistletoe Village with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

The resort's Christmas-season events run through Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

For tickets, information, or to book a stay, guests can visit ChristmasatGaylordRockies.com.

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Credit: Gaylord Rockies
Credit: Gaylord Rockies

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