From 9 until 11 February, Jelgava will host the International Ice Sculpture Festival for the 20th time, with this year’s theme being Dreams. In honour of this anniversary, the festival will have three locations: Pasta Island, Jānis Čakste Boulevard, and Duke Jacob’s Square. The jury’s commission has approved 30 professional sculptors from 10 countries for participation in the festival: Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Bulgaria and China.
The Jelgava City municipal authority Kultūra received a total of 78 applications and 139 sketches of ice sculptures for the sketch selection contest. Each sculptor interprets the theme differently: some associate dreams with hopes and plans for the future, while others see them as endless possibilities offered by imagination and freedom that only come alive in dreams.
The artists will participate in the competition in two categories: individual sculptures and team sculptures. 45 competition sculptures will be made during the festival: 30 small (individual) and 15 large (team) sculptures, as well as several additional photo sculptures and the Koskenkorva ice bar.
The sculptors will arrive in Jelgava on 4 February and work on their pieces until 9 February, while visitors will be able to enjoy the festival and see the sculptures from 9 until 11 February.
In the 20 years of its existence, the festival has become a significant event. It has put Jelgava on the map of the world’s biggest ice sculpture festivals and is the biggest event of its kind in the Baltics, attracting more than 50 professional sculptors from around the world each year. This unique outdoor event is the main tourist attraction in Latvia during winter, gathering thousands of visitors not only from Latvia, but also from abroad. During the festival, more than 70 tonnes of ice will be transformed into intricate artwork that will embody the boldest ideas of their authors.
The festival’s guests will be treated to an extensive culture and entertainment programme with performances by Mesa, Bermudu divstūris, Samanta Tina and Tadas Rimgaila (Lithuania), Latvian X Factor contestants, My Radiant You, and DJ Rudd. There will also be various musical games for children, ice carving demonstrations, fireworks, and a lot more.
Tickets are available until 8 February at Biļešu Paradīze box offices with discounts for families, pupils, students and seniors, as well as special prices for holders of the Jelgava Pupil Card and the Jelgava Resident Card when buying tickets at the Jelgava Culture Centre.
The International Ice Sculpture Festival is organised by Jelgava City.