A day after his record-breaking ice sculpture collapsed, a Minnesota artist vows to rebuild.
The city of Superior, Wis., meanwhile, plans to party on.
The Superior Ice Project was supposed to be the anchor of three consecutive weeks of winter festivals. 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, in the midst of an 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 Superior Chamber of Commerce declared on Facebook.
If anything, city officials say the media attention around the spectacular collapse of the $30,000 sculpture — Hanson captured the entire thing on a video he posted on his Facebook page — might draw even bigger crowds to the parties, which begin Valentine's Day. The city plans a series of evening light and music shows around the Ice Project on Barker's Island, along with bonfires and food and beverage vendors.
"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.
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 news release from the city Wednesday, Hanson pledged to try again. "My work here is not done."