Date Of Visit: January 26, 2019 (usually the last weekend of January)
Location: MGM Casino, One MGM Way, Springfield, MA and Downtown Springfield, MA area (about 2 hours west of Boston and 30 minutes north of Hartford, CT)
Parking: There is parking available throughout the city and parking garages in the city. Free parking to view the ice carving demonstration is also available at the MGM Casino. Parking info available at the attached link: Parking In Springfield
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: ice sculptures, ice carving demonstration
Summary: Thirteen ice sculptures of various shapes and sizes carved by Joe Almeida located throughout the city of Springfield (I found 11 of them). Joe also conducted an ice carving demonstration during the Ice Invasion event. Some of the sculptures are lit up at night.
Website: Ice Invasion
While ice is nothing unusual this time of the year in New England, there was an ice invasion of a different sort this past weekend in Springfield, MA.
This Ice Invasion was part of the American Hockey League (AHL) All Star Classic celebration which was being held at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA.
Joe Almeida of Sculptures In Ice carved all of the sculptures for the event. He kicked off the Ice Invasion with a live carving demonstration in front of the Armory in the common area on the grounds of the Saturday afternoon. Joe said the ice blocks can weigh up to as much as 300 pounds and he uses snow to write the MGM and Springfield in the sculpture. The lights at the bottom of the sculpture give the golden color which is emblematic of the MGM Casino logo.
The first sculpture at the Ice Invasion was at the outdoor skating rink at the MGM. Unfortunately, no one was skating during my visit.
Most of the sculptures were located on Main St with a few located on the side streets (see link in the description above to view a map of all of the locations).
The most appropriate sculpture was a sculpture of a hockey player wearing a Springfield Thundercats uniform.
Most of the other sculptures had a winter theme to them such as this ice sculpture of a person sledding.
And this snowflake.
While it certainly was cold and breezy, the temperatures were in the high 20s to low 30s and the sun was out. So there was some melting noticeable. In fact, it was a little hard to see some of the features of some of the sculptures and it was hard to tell what one of them was, specifically the sculpture at the Spring Museum. I think it was a dragon.
There were also two sculptures of people throwing snowballs.
This guy was very cold.
There was also wildlife at the Ice Invasion. This penguin was hanging out outside Union Station.
And this bear
All of the ice sculptures, except one, were in walking distance (although it was a fairly solid walk – my Fitbit recorded 5 miles back and forth during our stroll). But, I did drive to photograph the last sculpture at the Springfield Museum.
Something to keep in mind is that some of the sculptures on the map were not on display.
Now, sadly, we are in store for a real ice invasion.
Below is a video of a news report on the local news about the event. Who is that in the video at the 40 second mark?
Also, I have been posting on another page called Hidden New England. I am focusing on some of the lesser known or “hidden treasures” of New England in this blog. There may be some overlap from some places I have visited previously in this blog. But I am also finding new hidden gems in the area to post about. Please follow my blog and take a look at my Facebook page as well. Here is the link to my Hidden New England page on WordPress: Hidden New England
The link to my Facebook page for Hidden New England is here : Hidden New England
Similar events and places I have visited:
Things to do in the area: