Frozen in awe in Tennessee

December 19, 2006|by SYDNEY TOOLEY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There are different types of ice.

There is ice we should not drive on, or throw, but we do like to skate on it.

And there is ICE!

ICE! is a kind of art gallery at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. It is one of the most beautiful, interesting and coldest places I've ever been. Artisans sculpted about 1.5 million pounds of ice into fabulous shapes, sizes and designs.

It is a seasonal show opening around Thanksgiving and ending Jan. 2. More than 10,000 people go through it annually, but it is not the same show each year. This year's show was more elaborate than last year's.

This year's ICE! show was made by 40 or more workers.

It is very cold inside so the ice doesn't melt. If you don't have a coat, you will be provided one at the door.


The first room we walked into had a giant igloo that you had to walk through to get to the rest. There also were flowers made of ice. After we walked through the igloo, we came to a winter wonderland. It was almost like being outside - in a frigid wilderness. There were sculptures of bears and deer and rabbits. There was even a running waterfall with real icicles hanging down from it.

Then we had to walk through a tunnel that appeared blue because of the blue Christmas lights hanging from the walls and ceiling.

Next, we came to a room with a giant ice castle. It had three ice slides. You could take a slippery ride down them, but only two were working at the moment. Then we had to walk through another tunnel that led into an open room. This room had an ice house and train you could walk into. There was also a giant sundae made of ice.

The very last room was the best of all.

In this room was the Nativity scene. It was one of the most exquisite things I've ever seen. There was a big platform and on it were Mary and Joseph kneeling next to Jesus. At the back of the room was the Angel of the Lord that stood more than 10 feet tall. All the time we were in there they played the "Hallelujah!" Chorus. It was beautiful.

This year's vacation was one of the best I've ever had. If ever you head south for the holidays, try to see it.

Call Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, 615-889-1000, for more information about ICE!

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