Lack of ice on Cave Lake cited as reason for cancellation

The upcoming Fire and Ice event at Cave Lake was officially canceled Monday morning according to one of the event’s planners Ed Spear. He cited thin ice as the reason the annual, two-day event will not happen in the coming year.

“We like to have at least a foot of ice on the lake to hold everything, but this year just hasn’t been cold enough,” Spear said.

Though temperatures have began to drop, Spear said that the lake only had between three to four inches of ice, not nearly enough to support many of the festival’ activities, such as the large snow sculptures.

“The reason we need all that ice is to support the sculptures. You could walk on the lake, but those sculptures are much heavier and would fall through,” he continued.

Originally planned to take place on Martin Luther King weekend in January, event planners are now looking for an alternative to Fire and Ice to still attract visitors . According to Bristlecone Convention Center’s Event Planning Specialist Meg Rhoades, the event was supposed to correspond with the Nevada Northern Railway’s Fireworks Express train on Jan. 17.

“We wanted it to line up with the fireworks train but Mother Nature just didn’t play ball,” Rhoades said.

Nothing has been announced so far as a replacement event.

Fire and Ice was last canceled in 2012 due to a lack of snow. According to Spear, the recent snowfall actually makes the ice conditions on the lake worse.

“The snow insulates the ice, stopping it from freezing anymore. In fact, what you end up with is thinner layers of ice between the snow that can be very dangerous,” he said.

Spear said that the Ely Rotary Club’s Ice Fishing Derby shouldn’t be affected due to not needing as thick of ice.

Snow sculptures are a big part of the annual Fire and Ice event but can also be very heavy and dangerous on thin ice.  (Courtesy photo)

Snow sculptures are a big part of the annual Fire and Ice event but can also be very heavy and dangerous on thin ice. (Courtesy photo)

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