The world famous Cripple Creek Ice Festival is a fabulous event held in the streets of Bennett Avenue, where the whimsical tales of books come alive in the fabulous chunks of ice. The craftsmen illustrate the story lines of different books and classical literary works in ice. Held February 12th -13th and 19th-21st, 2011, the event flooded the lanes with spectacular models and awestruck spectators buzzing about the dexterity of the sculptors. This year marked the 4th annual Cripple Creek Ice Festival.
The event is open to public with free entry to cherish the beauty of the landscapes shadowing the ice sculptures.. People visiting here on the days of the event get to see sculptors with chainsaws and other tools for carving ice while they illustrate objects from fantasy lands and other amazing sights. They not only design fairy tales but also chalk out adventurous stories and continue to work through the week.
The Cripple Creek Ice Festival supports a children’s literacy center, for which donations are accepted from the spectators to help children learn to read. There are certain guidelines to the donations, as this is because they are meant for further usage by the children. Donations are handed over at the entry level tents. The list of items eligible include:
1. Books of fine quality; books can be used but should not be in an unreadable state
2. The online book stores take books like the fiction, medical, biographies, and other popular series
3. Recent teen and kids chapter book series
4. Literacy-based games like Scrabble, Boggle, Life, Banana Grams, and other games that develop reading skills
5. Small items like bands, pens, pencils, erasers, hair bands, Pokémon, and other fun accessories for girls or boys. These are reward items that children get when they read for seven days in a row.
Items which are not considered are:
1. Tattered or old books
2. Thesauruses, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books
3. Time Life series magazines
4. Illustration books for kids with little words to read
Apart from books and crafts, sculptors of the festival host entertainment for both adults and children. It has two ice mazes, an ice slade, a martini bar, and retail and food vendors – all of which add to the event. Special sponsors include Bronco Billy’s Casino, Triple Crown Casinos, Pepsi, Lamar, U.S. Foods, Carr Manor, and many more. Cripple Creek offers lodging and boarding facilities which are embedded within the richness of the region. Apart from the ice carvings, the city has many more recreations to be enjoyed along with the festival, which include bird watching, biking, camping, hunting, live music, snow sports, and water sports. All in all, the festival is a reflection of the rich culture and heritage of Colorado and the beautiful Cripple Creek area.