Christmas in Ice: North Pole, AlaskaPosted: December 14, 2011
I love telling people we live in North Pole, Alaska because it always causes an interesting response. People say, No way, or That’s hilarious, or Have you met Santa yet? If nothing else our little town is a conversation starter, especially with folks who live outside Alaska.
North Pole is, without a doubt, tiny. I think the most happening place here is the post office (letters to Santa!); it is always jammed. At first it felt a little too small, but I have come to appreciate that part of it as well. And who doesn’t love a candy cane striped light pole? It is a quirky little place where people are friendly, helpful, and perfectly comfortable with being a little Christmas-cheesy year round.
So as the holidays approached my husband and I expected nothing less than full on Christmas cheer. Lights and outdoor decorations appear early here, not because someone is trying to sell you a sweater from Macy’s, but for the more practical reason of weather. But what I like most are the ice sculptures. There are two roundabouts at the center of town and in November big blocks of ice materialized around the outsides of the circles. Soon we had ice versions of Santa and his elves. And as we moved into December, more ice sculptures began popping up around town. There are even ice sculptures in front of McDonald’s.
The ice sculptures help kick off Christmas in Ice. The month long Christmas celebration in North Pole. The first weekend in December is when things really heated up, with a fireworks display, and the being of an ice sculpting competition at the Santa Claus House, an iconic local store dedicated to everything Christmas. The Santa Claus House is also where kids (or Lucas and I) can meet Santa, where a group of real reindeer live, and is home to the tallest Santa statue in the world.
Last weekend, Lucas and I went to see the ice sculpting competition entries. Our favorite was a sculpture that shows Santa surfing, it was called something like Santa’s Day Off. But my absolute favorite part of the ice park was the slides. There were five or six varying-sized ice slides for kids. I wish I had been wearing snow pants, because one of the slides was particularly long, and looked like so much fun! It was a hot spot, packed with kids in crazy hats, and scarfs, so bundled up it was tough to see their faces. You couldn’t help but smile.
So even thought it is a little early, wishing you a very Happy Holiday from North Pole, Alaska!