China’s Ice and Snow World park to open on Christmas Day

The park, which is the world’s biggest, will display more than 2,000 ice sculptures and offer interactive shows and performances

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2017, 5:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2017, 8:42pm

Workers are digging up large quantities of ice and building thousands of sculptures ahead of the 19th edition of the annual festival at Harbin Ice and Snow World park, according to China’s state broadcaster.

The biggest ice exhibition in the world, the theme park will open on Christmas Day in the capital of China’s northernmost province, Heilongjiang, CCTV reported.

This year’s festival is bigger than usual, leading workers to commence operations early.

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“Usually work starts around December 5, but this year we began to dig up the ice required for the models and sculptures on December 1. There are almost 10,000 people working in the park and construction is half complete,” Wang Zengyu, executive manager of Ice and Snow World, said.

The park will display more than 2,000 sculptures, using 180,000 cubic metres of ice, and put up different kinds of activities, interactive shows and performances centred on a winter theme, the report said.

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Commissioned by the Harbin municipal government, the park first opened in 1999 and attracts millions of visitors each year.

It is part of the city’s larger International Ice and Snow Festival, which also includes Harbin Sun Island, the site of the annual International Snow Sculpture Art Exposition. More than 100 workers are chiselling away at the expo’s elaborate centrepiece, which is titled “A Snowy Ode to the Winter Olympics”.

According to Sun Island’s official account on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, the art exposition opened for a week-long trial run on Tuesday. Tickets cost from 120 yuan (US$18) per person during the trial and will rise to 330 yuan when the expo officially opens next week.