Photos: Ice Castle opening on New Year's Eve

Arts & Culture ·

1 Natalie Wass, 37, and Amelia English, 29, both of Minneapolis, wander through the Ice Castle outside the Mall of America during a preview event on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Wass and English work for the Mall of America Entertainment Department and are dressed as ice princesses. 
2 Thanos Morrowind, 22, of Burnsville and Ryan Hansmeyer, 29, of Apple Valley perform as fire spitters at a preview event for the Ice Castle at the Mall of America on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. 
3 Bloomington residents Paula Douthett, 80, and her husband, Bill Douthett, 81, visit the Ice Castle outside the Mall of America during a preview event on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Unlike other ice structures that use ice blocks, this ice castle is made of icicles that are organically grown, then fused together. The Ice Castle opens to the public on New Year's Eve. 
4 A boy enters the Ice Castle outside the Mall of America during a preview event on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Created by Ice Castles LLC, the structure will stand more than 40 feet tall at its peak. Unlike other ice structures that use ice blocks, this ice castle is made of icicles grown and then fused together. 
5 Adella Maisuk, 9, of Eagan examines the icicles that make up the Ice Castle outside the Mall of America on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. 
6 This is where the Ice Castle begins. Icicles are first grown on racks before they are harvested and fused together to create the ice structure. Chainsaws are then used to cut through the ice to create tunnels and archways. 
7 Brent Christiansen, left, 50, of Alpine, Utah, and Ryan Davis, 35, of Midway, Utah, are partners in Ice Castles LLC, a company that builds ice castles using icicles that are grown, then fused together. The idea started four years ago in Christiansen's backyard when his children asked him to make a fort for them. Since then, they have built ice castles in four cities, including the Twin Cities. Work on the Twin Cities structure began Dec. 1, 2012, and will continue over the next three weeks. 
8 Icicles that form the Ice Castle outside the Mall of America. Created by Ice Castles LLC, the structure will stand more than 40 feet tall at its peak. Unlike other ice structures that use ice blocks, this ice castle is made of icicles grown, then fused together to make a series of walls, archways and tunnels. 
9 Natalie Wass, 37, of Minneapolis warms up at an outdoor firepit with other ice princesses at the preview event for the Ice Castle at the Mall of America on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Wass works for the Mall of America Entertainment Department and is helping to promote the Ice Castle. 
10 Ryan Hansmeyer, 29, of Apple Valley performs fire spitting at the preview event of the Ice Castle at the Mall of America on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.