By Kay-Lynn Roberts-McMurray

The Ely Times

The Fire and Ice event last weekend brought out many locals and tourists.

For some it was a time to relax and enjoy the winter wonderland, and for others it was a time to show off their artistic abilities in snow and ice sculpting.

For many of the sculptors it was a creation based on a whim of inspiration. Many methods were used, for the sculpting. Some had a knife and chiseling tools, others had brought out their power tools, making it a competitive but fun family event.

The rules were simple, the  sculptures had to be free standing, 100 percent snow/ice, a minimum of  6 feet in height/width and a maximum of 12 feet in height.

Friday kicked off the event with sculptors showing up early to get a jump start on their ice sculptures.

On Saturday more ice sculpting took place and other activities such as ice bowling, fishing, golf, ice skating, sledding and cross country skiing.

Saturday evening, the fireworks train took the spotlight by exhibiting a spectacular fireworks display in town that was shot right off the back of one of the train’s flat cars. The fireworks could be seen from miles around.

Sunday commenced with a ice horse shoe tournament and the finishing touches being placed on sculptures before the judging began. U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and Congressman Cresent Hardy participated on the judging panel as well as a few select locals.

There were seven Ice Sculptors total, with first place being awarded to Jake and Jennifer Brunson with their sculpture called “HiBEARnation” with a grand prize of $1,000. Second Place went to Buzz Roosevear & Nancy Herms with their sculpture called “Ward Charcoal Ovens Quarter Scale” with a prize of $500 and third place with a prize of $250 went to Robin Spealman with her sculpture called “Bob the Bobcat.”

The Ice Horseshoe Tournament winners were Derek Williams and Scott McQueen.

With more than 850 people in attendance, this event brought new energy to the area at a time when people tend to hibernate with the snow and freezing temperatures.

The event ended with yet another fireworks show, but this time over the lake, which is an experience in itself. The echoes of thunder in the canyon from the fireworks and the fog settling down over the lake, made quite a canvas for the array of colors coming from the fireworks, concluding the Fire and Ice event as yet another successful event.