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New Hampshire ice castles

This frozen New Hampshire exhibit proves you don't have to go to Arendelle to see ice castles


NORTH WOODSTOCK, N.H. (AP) — Thousands of people are flocking to a winter wonderland in New Hampshire constructed from ice.

Ice Castles in North Woodstock features a collection of ice tunnels, caverns and a 97-foot ice slide that cover an acre of farmland. Some have said it looks like a scene straight out of the movie "Frozen."

"It is massively popular, I think, more than our founders would have ever imagined it to be," lead builder Matt Pasciuto said, adding that tickets sell out every Friday and Saturday night.

His team is tasked with bringing the site to life every year.

"We have a guy on our staff who programs — basically creates a light program that sends signals to each light individually to create kind of a passive light show as the — as the night goes on. It's sort of set to the music," he said, adding that both help give the castle "extra personality."

The attraction starts small in December, when Pasciuto and the team set up icicle farms: metal racks that are sprayed with water to allow icicles to grow on them overnight. The icicles are then harvested by "ice artists," who place them around more than 70 sprinklers.

"Once we turn the sprinklers on, the water starts freezing to those icicles, making them grow together, bigger and bigger and thicker and thicker," said Pasciuto. "We grow the castle about two to three feet at a time."

It's become a popular site for marriage proposals.

Adam Schellinger and his wife Ashley started coming to the site three years ago when they first started dating. The couple got engaged on last year's visit and crowd immediately began cheering, Ashley told The Associated Press.

"So, we've been going ever since the first year (referring to the couple's first year of dating) and then, last year, it was like his deadline," she said.

"He took me to the ice castles again and proposed, because that was our special place," she added.

The couple was married in September.

The winter wonderland is one of six in North America.

Where should you go to see the northern lights?


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