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Massive ice castle returns to Canada for January

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The recent snap of cold weather in Edmonton has created the perfect conditions for crews to complete this year's edition of Ice Castles, set to open Friday in Hawrelak Park.

The frozen sculptures, thrones, slides, tunnels and towers that make up the exhibit are almost complete, after five weeks of creative work.

© Provided by Pelmorex Media Inc. It's the fourth year the project has come to Edmonton.

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Christian Denis,  site manager and lead artist, said the warmer temperatures projected for later this week won't necessarily hurt the ice castle experience. 

"The volatility of the weather throws some pretty gnarly formations for us; it's pretty magical," he said. 

"It would take a while of +10 C for it to really cause any damage. It creates its own refrigeration. You walk through some of these tunnels, you can feel the cold."

Denis said this year's ice castle is the biggest project in Edmonton yet. The city is the only Canadian location where the Utah-based company, Ice Castles, has set up an exhibit. There are five other sites in the United States this year.

This article was originally published on CBC.ca. Thumbnail: Crews work on the Ice Castles exhibit on Hawrelak Park, which is set to open Jan. 4th. (CBC/Nathan Gross)

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