Did you see on social media? We’ve just announced the line-up of seriously cool characters you will be able to see dotted around Durham City during the final February half term weekend. That’s right! We’ve unveiled the 10 installations at Fire&Ice InDurham, which will form an ice sculpture trail around the City centre for you to follow, lit by a number of flaming beacons.
If you didn’t already know, Fire&Ice InDurham is now in its fourth year, having first debuted in 2016 with the theme of ‘Polar Exploration’. Subsequent festivals depicting ice sculptures have followed the creative steer of ‘Myths & Legends’ and ‘Literary Characters’. But now, the event is back for 2019, with the theme of ‘Heroes & Villains’ – we couldn’t be more excited!
Just some of the comic book characters, villains you love-to-hate, and real-life super heroes to be honoured at the festival include Lego Batman, Darth Vader and Wonder Woman, as well as depictions of Grace Darling and an interactive firefighter, complete with hose and running water. Which one are you looking forward to most?
Of course, we’re hugely excited about the line-up of ice sculptures at this year’s Fire&Ice InDurham. The theme of Heroes & Villains is massively open to interpretation; what some may consider to be a hero is another person’s villain. Equally, there are some villains who are misunderstood, just like Maleficent, and there are those comic book baddies that we all love to hate.
As well as being a brilliant family-friendly event, the theme is certainly a talking point and makes people question their own perceptions of good versus evil. Here’s the full line-up of ice sculptures… which ones are your very own heroes or villains?
Thanos is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe and has clashed with many heroes including the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.
Grace Darling was a lighthouse keeper's daughter, famed for participating in the rescue of nine passengers from the shipwrecked Forfarshire in 1838. The paddlesteamer ran aground on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland. The brave heroine and her father used a rowing boat in stormy seas for the rescue.
Batman is a superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics and in a number of blockbuster movies. In 2017, the American cult icon was the star of a computer-animated superhero comedy film, based on the Lego Batman toy line.
Maleficent is the self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil". Based on the evil fairy godmother character in the tale of Sleeping Beauty, she is also the villainess who appears in the Brothers Grimm's retelling of the story. A postmodernist revision of the character appeared as the protagonist in the 2014 live-action film Maleficent.
Darth Vader is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise and was the primary antagonist in the original trilogy. He has become one of the most iconic villains in popular culture, and has been listed among the greatest villains and fictional characters ever.
Wonder Woman is a superhero who was initially created for comic books. The character has since had a hit TV series and blockbuster movie. For several years in the 1950s, the only three superheroes to have their own comic book were Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
Firefighters, like all emergency service personnel are real-life heroes, who courageously run towards danger, as most people flee in the opposite direction.
The Thunderbird is a fictional creature that appears in the hit movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The beast is believed to be a close relative to the Phoenix, and although it can create violent storms, it is also highly sensitive to danger. The Thunderbird is recognisable for its three pairs of powerful wings covered with colour changing iridescent feathers.
From the Transformers world, Bumblebee is one of Optimus Prime’s most trusted lieutenants. Although not the strongest or most powerful of Autobots, he more than makes up for this with a bottomless well of luck, determination and bravery.
People’s Choice Winner – Ant & Dec:
As voted for by members of the public on Facebook, hailing from their hometown in the North East, they’re the loveable lads from Newcastle who’ve taken the world of Saturday night TV by storm, with the likes of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Britain’s Got Talent and much, much more.
We’re pleased to say that some ‘good’ old favourites from previous Fire&Ice InDurham festivals are making a superhero return for 2019, along with some exciting new ice sculptures. There really is something for everyone - from comic book characters to real-life heroes from modern history and a very special installation of Ant & Dec too. There’s lots to see and do that’ll keep both your children and big kids entertained at Fire&Ice InDurham this February half term.
In addition to the ice sculptures, you’ll be pleased to know the much-loved Chocolate Block will also be making a return to the festival, whereby bars of chocolate and other sweet treats are frozen into sheets of ice, and you are invited to get creative in finding ways of melting the block to get your hands on the goodies inside. In an update to previous years, attendants will be on-hand at the Chocolate Block, so if you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t manage to melt the ice, you’ll be given a small packet of sweets as a consolation prize for your efforts.
As well as getting hands-on at the Chocolate Block, you’ll also be able to turn your hand to ice carving under the watchful eye of the experts from Glacial Arts, who spend days working in large freezers at their base in Liverpool to bring each icy installation to life, before carefully transporting their creations to Durham in specially designed cooling vans.
But, if you prefer to watch from the side lines rather than taking to the power tools to help carve the ice at the Have-A-Go station, there will also be live demos throughout the course of the festival, so you can watch members of the team from Glacial Arts – who once worked on the hit TV show Game of Thrones – carve their masterpieces live in real time in front of an audience.
And if you’re feeling really lucky, Moon Jewellery will also be running a competition whereby you could win a real diamond, to be later created into a custom piece of jewellery by the store on Silver Street.
Sound good? Don’t forget… Fire&Ice InDurham takes place across Durham City on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd February and is free to attend. The full programme of events will be announced on Monday 18th February, with trail maps and full timings of what’s happening across the City and where during Fire&Ice InDurham available to download from our website on this date. Stay tuned…