[UPDATE!] The Ice Castle closes, Art Shanties in limbo due to last week's heat wave


Last weekend was a balmy one, with temps reaching into the 40s. While many of us spent it walking around outside without fear of frostbite, event planners at several wintertime delights had to consider their options, as ice can get pretty weird when the weather fluctuates.

The Ice Castle, a huge structure made of individual icicles that folks walk through in Eden Prairie (they've also been known to do a few Frozen sing-a-longs), was forced to close for the season this weekend. 

"The Ice Castle has deteriorated more rapidly than we have ever had happen, and the safety and enjoyment of our guests is extremely important to us," the announcement states.

Typically the castle stays open through February (though weather is always a factor.)

Meanwhile, the Art Shanties' festival might be cut short as well, as this weekend the ice on White Bear Lake was deemed too thin to support the shanties, not to mention the scheduled ArtCar and ArtBike Parade. The festival was also scheduled to run through February.

There's still hope for this Art Shanty season, however. In past years, when they were on Medicine Lake, the group moved their structures to the shoreline or beach area.

"We are assessing the situation, but have not ruled out coming back at this time.... on the beach," organizers have stated via Facebook.

Art Shanty volunteers and organizers will be voting today on whether to move and stay open or close out the season early. We'll update this post tomorrow once things have been set.

[UPDATE! The Art Shanties are still on for next weekend. This statement was made this morning via the event's Facebook page: "Art Shanty Projects WILL BE OPEN for our final weekend. Show your support of our resilient artists by visiting Shore Shanty Village, February 27-28, 2016."]