Banff SnowDays & Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019
I went around the town and Lake Louise to see the SnowDays and Ice Magic Festival few days ago. I missed these events last winter because I was too lazy to go out. Now that I only have 4 months left, of course I pushed myself to go out and enjoy these events :)
I had a glimpse of all snow sculptures in town during the day when I went for my grocery shopping. Then, I went to the town after I got back from Lake Louise see them again at night. I personally found them to look way better and more alive at night!
Tip: The best days to see the snow and ice sculptures are the first weekend of the events or the Monday or Tuesday after, as they are freshly carved, though it may get crowded.
I obviously didn't get to see all of them at their prettiest as I went three days before the events ended. Almost all of them have started to melt at that time, thanks to the high temperature earlier that week. We actually had positive temperature for few days in January. Can you believe that?!
The snow sculptures were scattered at three places; Bear Street; Banff Avenue Square; and Banff Community High School. Most of the snow sculptures were at the Bear Street so I spent more time here. It was more christmassy with lights, live performances, and fireplaces at the Bear Street. I loved the vibe so much! :)
Tip: You'll have superior experience if you actually come when the carvers are around as you can see them carving and ask them questions! They are usually friendly and more than happy to entertain your curiosity.
As for the Ice Magic Festival, I was honestly surprised when I was at the Lake Louise. It was nothing like I imagined and expected but it is what is. I was actually expecting something on a grand scale but turned out it was not as grand as I expected. Maybe because it was almost the end of the festival. Who knows?
I really wanted to have a proper picture at the iconic ice castle because this might be my last time here. However, as one can see, I failed to get a decent picture at the iconic ice castle after being photobombed continuously by the strangers. I didn't even bother to try again because I was too lazy and I didn't want to keep pestering other people, asking for their help to take my pictures. Haha. #janjiadasudahlah
Tip: Go to the Ice Magic Festival on weekdays or weekends before 10 AM or after 5:30 PM to enjoy free admission. Otherwise, you'll have to pay for admissions.
I think there were more than 10 ice sculptures still standing when I was there. A lot of them have melted and lost their forms especially the small ice sculptures. Anyway, this particular ice sculpture caught my attention though it was not a winning piece because it was carved by a Malaysian and a Mexican! Was so surprised to see "Malaysia" on the information board :) #proudmalaysian
This ice sculpture named Ice Queen Treasures won the first place and people's choice. It was carved by a team from Latvia. I just browsed through my IG and saw few pictures of this sculpture when the skies were pitch black. The ice sculpture looked magical!
Tip: Purchase your Ice Magic Festival ticket online as they offer discounted tickets and they usually have limited walk-in ticket. You also can ask your hotel if they have a discount code. I believe the ticket is only $5 if your hotel has a discount code. You may also get a free admission if your hotel is one of few hotels that offer free admission to the Ice Magic Festival.
This ice sculpture carved by a Russian team won the second place. The piece name is Sun Dance. It looked so simple but I don't think it's easy to carve. Hehe. Again. I just saw the picture of this piece when the skies were pitch black. It looked more alive!
A Canadian team won the third place by this piece named Plumber's Nightmare. I loved the small details though you couldn't see it from this picture. They were so cuteeeeee!
Anyway, it was a nice experience and well spent night. Am so glad that I forced myself to change my sleeping schedule and spend some money to catch these events. It's going to be one of the treasured memories for the rest of my life :)