Island offers warm and icy welcome
Both visitors and residents are flocking to the Magic Ice Gallery, which opened January 10 in downtown Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas Virgin Islands.
The spectacular structure, spanning nearly 10,000 square feet.showcases sculptures carved by serious artisans working in well below tropical temperatures. You can see pretty cool pirates, tropical wildlife and underwater-themed displays. There are also works that convey the history of the Virgin Islands and its linkages to Scandinavia, notably Denmark, which owned the islands until 1928.
In fact the Magic Ice gallery is a sister attraction to a similar gallery in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, which has been operational since 2004. General Manager, Kristen Marie Homen, says St. Thomas was chosen after exploring other venues including St.Martin and the Cayman Islands. The deciding factor she says was the reaction from John de Jongh, the governor of the Virgin Islands, who despite the cold concept, gave her a warm wleome.
The temperature inside the gallery, at a chilly 25-degrees Fahrenheit, rivals the state of Maine in the winter. But visitors attired in shorts and tank tops don’t need to sweat the small stuff. Complimentary poncho style parks and gloves are included in the $32 entrance fee, along with a frosty drink in a take home glass.
Children in the Virgin Islands- some who have never seen snow- may now slide down a hill of ice in the interactive attraction included in the gallery.
Photo: Governor of the Virgin Islands, John de Jongh breaks the ice at the January 2012 opening of Magic Ice in St. Thomas. Photo courtesy Virgin Islands Government House.
More about Magic Ice here.