Canal Street Online Manchester

Canal St takeover of Ice Village

Canal St takeover of Ice Village

Tickets are now on sale for Britain’s first dedicated ice attraction, coming to Manchester for Christmas 2018. Opening 9 November, ICE VILLAGE MANCHESTER is a frosty family-friendly attraction, produced in partnership with Manchester City Council.

Set against a backdrop of snow-covered trees and twinkling fairy lights in Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens, Britain’s first ever Ice Village will feature an Ice Sculpture Cavern, Ice Bar, Ice Rink, Santa’s Grotto, and a Woodland Market with winter games, traditional Christmas market stalls, an Arctic Bar, and live festive entertainment. A team of the world’s best ice artists began work in July to carve hundreds of intricate ice sculptures especially for Ice Village Manchester. But what makes Britain’s first Ice Village?

We welcome you all to join us for our Canal St Takeover (for LGBTQ and their friends) on Friday 23rd Novemeber from 6pm until 9pm.

Tix are available via the link below and on the door on the night, although please bear in mind that numbers will be limited.

Please also remember that holders of @canalstcard can enjoy £1 off each ticket purchased.

The showpiece attraction is the Ice Cavern, an immersive walk-through experience that takes visitors on a journey to Santa’s frozen toy factory. Join an Arctic Explorer on his voyage to the North Pole, and see delightful Arctic animals all sculpted from ice. Head deeper into the Ice Cavern to the toy factory, where the ice cogs are whirring and Santa’s elves are busy making toys in time for Christmas – an iconic festive image, but here each detail is stunningly realised in ice and snow. Also within the Ice Cavern is the Ice Bar: with frozen barrels and fixtures, it’s a chilled spot for cocktails, hot chocolate, and other festive drinks. All this and more is carved using 250 tonnes of solid ice.

The journey into the Ice Cavern begins with a vast steam train carved entirely from ice. The train alone comprises over a hundred pieces of individually sculpted ice: from tiny switches to giant train wheels and a towering smoke stack. As a tribute to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (born in Manchester in 1858), standing alongside the train is a female train driver wearing a ‘Votes For Women’ badge – a striking ice artwork carved by sculptor Hayley Gibbs.

The Santa ice sculpture weighs 1.5 tonnes, which is the same weight as a hippo.

Rudolph’s icy nose will be red (of course!) – it’s made of ice that’s been coloured using red poster paint. There’ll also be striped candy canes made of coloured ice.

The ice sculptors work in refrigerated shipping containers in temperatures of around minus-10º. As well as goggles and other protective gear, they also wear thermal coats and gloves to keep them warm. The tools used to hand-carve each ice sculpture combine the ancient tradition of Japanese Samurai chisels with the very latest power tools and computer aided CNC machinery.

In the days before Ice Village Manchester opens, a huge Polar Bear will be carved entirely onsite by ice sculptors Jack Hackney and Nick Smith. 

This won’t be the first time that Hamilton Ice Sculptors have worked in Manchester. In 2011, the Manchester Museum commissioned a giant carving of a life-size Polar Bear made from a 10-tonne block of ice. A part of the Ice Bear Project, it was carved onsite in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens by wildlife sculptor Mark Coreth along with the Hamilton Ice Sculptors team. This impressive ice sculpture was then left to melt over 5 days, slowly revealing a bronze sculpture of the bear’s skeleton beneath, to help raise awareness of climate change. 

Santa’s icy toy factory is where the magic of Christmas begins, but there’s so much more to see and do throughout Ice Village Manchester.

A 270m² all-weather stretch tent covers the Woodland Market’s Arctic Bar. Inspired by an Arctic Explorers base camp with lanterns, benches, barrel tables and even sprigs of mistletoe, this twinkly winter bar has something for everyone: from hot chocolate with marshmallow snowflakes to boozy hot toddies. Tucked away within this wintery woodland area are four snug chalets available for private hire (ideal for work Christmas events or festive family get-togethers).

Traditional winter games and activities at Ice Village Manchester include hook-an-iceberg (a bespoke Ice Village interpretation of hook-a-duck), as well as a festive Ice Village twist on the traditional coconut shy. There’ll also be distorting funhouse-style mirrors to help you determine: “Who’s the fairest of them all”.

After seeing a Santa ice sculpture in the Ice Cavern, take your little ones to meet the man himself at the Ice Village’s traditional Santa’s Grotto. Step into Santa’s wintery log cabin for a storytelling session led by Santa’s elves, there’ll be plenty of photo opportunities, plus every child receives a small gift handpicked by Santa.

Another fun, festive Ice Village attraction is the Ice Rink – so get your skates on!

Look out for special Takeover Days at Ice Village Manchester. Meet your favourite radio DJs on the Smooth Radio takeover from 7pm on Friday 9 November. Snow queens and polar bears won’t want to miss the Canal St Manchester LGBTQ takeover from 6pm on Friday 23 November. 

Ice Village Manchester is produced in partnership with Manchester City Council, and operates alongside the award-winning Manchester Christmas Markets (voted one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe) – altogether making Manchester a favourite Christmas break destination, and the ideal spot for Britain’s first ever Ice Village.

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Published: 26-Oct-2018 Top Stories

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