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Midway Ice Castles hoping cold weather lasts; plan bigger, better ice attractions

Posted at 9:33 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 23:33:27-05

MIDWAY, Utah -- There is an upside to our below average temperatures, it's cold enough to create magic at the Midway Ice Castles.

This is the earliest they've been able to start on the castles in years because Mother Nature has not been on their side. But they're hoping this season is different.

“Basically we're farmers and we farm ice we grow ice,” said Billy Tiedemann, Site Manager, Midway Ice Castles. “It is the building block, the foundation of an ice castle.”

With some water, a little snow and a lot of work the castles come to life.

“We just stick some slush at the bottom of the icicle hold is to the wall hold it till it freezes solidifies,” said Joseph Williams, who works on the Ice Castles every year.

The castles have become a Christmas tradition for Utahns.

New this year expect bigger slides, new tunnels, crawl spaces, lights and for the first time in Utah, a cathedral room and ballrooms. That is if Mother Nature plays along.

“It all just depends on the weather everything we do,” Williams said.

A couple years ago the castles were only open one weekend. Last year they got several weeks but they're hoping for even more this year. The perfect storm is cold temps, cloudy days, and no rain.

“Just the past few days we had rain that erased two days of work,” Williams said.

Crews have made up for that loss and are building up the walls of the castle.

“In two weeks or so we'll be on top of these climbing on top of these,” Williams said.

Right now some of those walls are almost six feet but soon they'll be twenty feet. They're hoping to open when Christmas break starts. But of course, that depends on the weather.