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The walls came tumbling down: Ice palace demolished on Friday

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Machine operator Lloyd Feldt operated the wrecking ball that demolished King Isbit's Ice Palace on the Detroit Lakes City Beach this past Friday, Feb. 23. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)2 / 6
With the setting sun just behind it, the slowly crumbling ice palace disbursed a small flurry of snow and ice crystals into the air as the wrecking ball hit its walls. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)3 / 6
The central tower of King Isbit's Ice Palace, which once towered a majestic 32 feet over the Detroit Lakes City Beach, needed wrecking ball operator Lloyd Feldt to extend the operating arm almost as far as it would stretch in order to reach the top. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)4 / 6
The blocks of ice made a unique noise as they crashed to the ground during Friday's palace demolition, and caused clouds of ice crystals to swirl up into the air. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)5 / 6
The sun's rays almost caused a light show at times as they reflected off the blocks of ice falling from the palace's central tower. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)6 / 6

With the 2018 Polar Fest celebration now in the record books, a volunteer crew led by Lloyd Feldt demolished King Isbit’s Ice Palace on Friday, Feb. 23.

To the tune of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” humorously blasted from the sound system at nearby Hub 41, Feldt piloted the crane that wielded the large steel ball which would demolish the solid ice walls of the structure. A crowd almost as large as those that had flocked to the palace and its surrounding “Palatial Playground” of ice and snow sculptures was on hand to watch its destruction.

It took roughly an hour to take down the ice palace, which stood 32 feet high at the top of its central tower, and occupied a 24x60 foot space on the Detroit Lakes City Beach during the past three weeks.

Though there will be no ice palace next year, keep an eye on future issues of the Tribune, where details of future plans for King Isbit’s return — and a possible 2019 ice harvest, albeit on a slightly smaller scale — will be published as soon as they are finalized.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

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