One day after his record breaking ice sculpture broke, a Minnesota artist vows to rebuild.
The city of Superior, meanwhile, plans to party on.
The Superior Ice Project was supposed to be the anchor of three consecutive weeks of winter festivals in Superior, Wis. Self-taught artist and engineer "Iceman Roger" Hanson had spent the past two months encamped on the Superior shoreline, painstakingly spraying layer after layer of frozen lake water into a six-story abstract sculpture. The unfinished spire soared close to 60 feet tall, already topping the previous world record for world's tallest ice sculpture.
On Tuesday morning, after weeks of freeze-and-thaw temperatures through the unusually mild winter, the ice sculpture abruptly collapsed, leaving millions of pounds of ice cubes where the ice sculpture was supposed to be.
But it's going to take more than gravity and a winter thaw to crush Superior's plans.
"The show must go on!" the chamber of commerce declared on Facebook.
Wednesday morning, Hanson was back at his work site, repairing one of the ice towers he hoped to use to rebuild the sculpture as high as he could while the weather held out.
"I'm not a quitter," said Hanson, who has spent the past seven years constructing massive ice structures in the back yard of his home in Big Lake. In a press release the city released Wednesday afternoon, Hanson pledged to try again. "My work here is not done."
The collapse of the $30,000 ice sculpture the city commissioned didn't cool Superior's plans for a series of weekend winter festivals on Barker's Island, around the site of the Ice Project. If anything, city officials say the media attention around the spectacular collapse -- Hanson captured the entire thing on a video he posted on his Facebook page -- might draw even bigger crowds to the party.
"We intend to move forward with our original goal of creating a signature winter event in Superior," Mayor Bruce Hagen said in a statement Wednesday.
Hanson doesn't have much time to rebuild. The first weekend's celebration is set for Valentine's Day. The city is planning a series of evening light and music shows around the Ice Project on Barker's Island at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday Feb. 14, along with bonfires, food and beverage vendors. Similar celebrations are planned for Feb. 21 and 28.
Hanson, meanwhile, plans to continue holding "Meet the Iceman" talks at 2 p.m. every Saturday through February in Barker's Island Festival Park.