Annika Farnzsen in Ice Palace 2020.

BETHEL — An ice palace is making its way to Bethel and setting itself up to be the coolest spot in town. Inspiration came to the owner Lester Spear when he was in Quebec City and saw someone had built an ice castle at a winter festival he was attending.

Right then and there he decided he was going to do it as well. As a former carpenter and builder and someone who loves the outdoors, he knew building wasn’t going to be an issue. The issue would be the material he was building with. To better prepare himself, he traveled to LaBelle Lake Ice Park Palace located in Idaho, where he trained in building ice palaces.

He decided to hold off in 2020 due to the pandemic; however, he stuck with the idea reopening the following winter. He wanted people to be able to do something outdoors and have fun.

There will be one ice palace and over a thousand lights.

There will be multiple food trucks (which he owns) which will be selling the following and more: kettle corn, fudge, fried dough, homemade ice cream; and, hot chocolate and hot cider. There will also be a Cajun food truck that makes Mexican food and jambalaya.

“I think that’s the biggest thing for me is, it’s really about people having fun,” explains Spear. “One of the things that I love about it is that when everybody gets out there … with art and music and all kinds of things … doesn’t matter what your political background is, doesn’t matter your religion, your race, doesn’t matter where you’re from; everybody’s out there, and they all love what’s happening, and they’re all doing it together. I think that’s so important right now and I think it also shows that we all have a lot more in common than we either are led to believe or are acknowledged on a regular basis.”

Tickets are $15 for the daytime and $19 for the nighttime. Children under the age of five can attend for free. It opens January 29, weather permitting.


Comments are not available on this story.