Now that St. Paul has decided not to build an Ice Palace for the Super Bowl, Detroit Lakes is stepping up.
The northwestern Minnesota town had planned to provide 24,000 blocks of ice to St. Paul, and build a much smaller ice structure themselves. Now they plan to use around 1,000 blocks for a palace.
"Once it came out that they weren't going to do it at all, we were thinking what do we do? Do we scrap it completely?" said Amy Stearns, with Detroit Lakes' Ice Harvest committee. "And we were like, no, that's not who we are in Detroit Lakes. And we were like, we can do an ice palace, can't we?"
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Each 2 foot by 4 foot block weighs around 500 pounds. Detroit Lakes palace builders plan to make a 24-foot-tall chilly edifice measuring 30 by 60 feet.
Stearns said the project has refocused attention on the town's history as a supplier of ice since the 1800s.
"Minnesota Vikings player Adam Thielen's grandfather was an ice harvester," Stearns said. "He was excited to actually come out, come back on the ice and seeing it being harvested again."
Stearns said they'll harvest ice in January and build the structure in time for Polar Fest, that runs Feb. 8-19.