The company behind the annual Ice Castles attraction has announced the winter event will be in New Brighton this year, and not Stillwater as originally planned.
After running the event in Excelsior last winter, Ice Castles Inc. had applied to return to Stillwater for 2019/20, with its application approved by the Stillwater City Council on Oct. 1.
However, the company became aware that the proposed venue for the attraction, Lowell Park, posed a flooding risk that "would be detrimental to the castles and our equipment should it occur during the building process or Ice Castles’ operational season."
As such, it decided to pursue other locations, with Lake Elmo another of the cities it considered before eventually opting for New Brighton.
It'll be the first time the north metro has hosted the Ice Castles, which has previously displayed in Eden Prairie and the Mall of America, as well as the aforementioned Stillwater (twice) and Excelsior.
The annual event attracts tens of thousands of visitors during the Minnesota winter, and is expected to open at Long Lake Regional Park in early January – provided the weather plays ball.
"We are thrilled to bring the magic of Ice Castles back to Minnesota this winter," said Ice Castles CEO Ryan Davis in a press release.
"Long Lake Regional Park is a great, convenient location just 20 minutes north of both downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul. The scenic park on the banks of Long Lake also makes for the perfect backdrop for our winter experience."
Ice Castles' team of "professional ice artisans" will build an elaborate ice castle in New Brighton, growing, harvesting and placing up to 10,000 icicles each day to create the structure, which is lit up by LED lights at night and features tunnels, fountains, slides and crawl spaces.
Construction at Long Lake Regional Park will start in early November.