IceFest in Christchurch

IceFest is a festival about Antarctica. Antarctica is often called “The Ice”; for example “Dave Dobbyn visited the Ice two years ago”.

IceFest is a month-long festival, from September 14th to October 14th which includes the school holidays. It is in Hagley Park. In the centre is an outdoor ice skating rink which is very popular.

There are photographic exhibitions including one by Jane Ussher who photographed the Antarctic huts of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott which have been there 100 years. To see this exhibition, you step inside a 10m white cube building to watch photos projected on three walls. You see how the men in these expeditions lived and what they left behind – clothes, tins of cocoa, boxes of flour, bottles, snow shovels and other tools, and dog kennels. You also see photos of the landscape. One image of a large bird moves frighteningly towards you.

The large GeoDome is the venue for talks by many scientists and others who have visited the Antarctic. There are films and concerts and many activities for children too.

In another tent, Denis Taylor is carving ice sculptures on Saturdays and Sundays. Next to that, is the broken statue of Captain Scott inside a large glass box. It was damaged by the earthquake.

On the last Saturday in September, visitors can visit the airport and see inside the aircraft which the US Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force fly to the Antarctic – the Globemaster, the Hercules and the Orion. This will be an exciting day.

Listen to January 17th 2012 to hear about Scott’s expedition.


expedition – a journey taken by a group of people; both Shackleton and Scott wanted to get to the South Pole
GeoDome – a large tent in the shape of half a sphere
venue – location, place
aircraft – planes

One Comments

  1. The journalist in the article describes the IceFest in Christchurch very well. Usually I like the summer more than the winter but now I would like to visit the festival about “The Ice”.

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