Ice awesome

Visitors explore the Ice Castles location in Dillon Town Park. This ice castle covers just over an acre. To view a photo gallery, visit GJSentinel.com

Queen Elsa, eat your heart out.

In cascading, natural blue splendor, ice is freezing and growing into a gorgeous castle in Dillon.

Your majesty is welcome to visit, but get your ticket soon. The castle opened Dec. 28 with a sold-out evening. And tickets are expected to remain pretty hot as the temperatures become more brisk and the castle builds to 40 feet at its tallest point.

“It’s pretty awesome. I may be biased, but it’s pretty awesome,” said Melissa Smuzynski, media relations for Ice Castles, the Utah-based company building ice castles in Dillon and five other locations in the United States and Canada.

The Dillon castle is in Dillon Town Park and work began with the company’s founder, Brent Christensen, drawing out by hand what he envisioned for this castle, Smuzynski said.

Using Christensen’s vision for the castle, it took two months for LED lights to be placed and the sprinkler heads to be set up in Dillon Town Park, she said.

About three weeks before the castle opened, the ice began growing to create thick walls on the castle site, which is just over an acre.

No wood or metal holds up the castle. “It’s pretty amazing. It’s just ice,” Smuzynski said.

And there are tunnels, slot canyons and icicle-adorned archways — “icicles are just dangling down at you ... it’s stunning,” Smuzynski said.

The Dillon ice castle also features a throne carved out of ice, which is fun for little kids and couples, she said, and a 50-foot ice slide. “It’s a blast.”

Those visiting the ice castle during the day will be able to better see the ice’s natural blue tones. Those there in the evening will see the ice illuminated in multiple colors, she said.

Friday and Saturday evening visitors will get the added treat of seeing a fire performance with twirling fire batons, fire breathing and more.

Historically, ice castles in Colorado — Ice Castles previously has built in Silverthorne and Steamboat — are open until early March, Smuzynski said.

But this already has been a quirky weather year, so keep an eye on the weather and on icecastles.com for updated information, she said.

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