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UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — The Loop Ice Carnival returns on Saturday for its 17th year. This family-friendly free event showcases local talents in the University City Delmar Loop neighborhood with over 50 ice sculptures on display.

With ice as the primary subject for this event, the weather plays a big role in its success. Jessica Bueler, of the Loop Special Business District, helps me understand how they prepare for various weather situations.

Ideal weather

Climatologically, this time of the year is the coldest, and at the end of January, afternoon highs hover around 40 degrees, which Bueler says is ideal. “This makes it warm enough for families to come out and check out all the amazing ice art and free family-friendly activities, while also preserving the ice sculptures throughout the day.”

Setup begins before sunrise, the coldest part of the day. “We start setting up all of the ice sculptures at 6 a.m. as long as the weather is cold and clear (no rain). If there is any drizzle, we will wait to set up the sculptures a few hours later so that they hold their shape and last as long as possible.”

Throughout its 17-year span, the event has withstood extreme warmth, temperatures reaching the 60s, to extreme cold. But as she tells me, This is a ‘snow or shine’ event. No matter the temperatures, we will roll with it.”

She adds, “St. Louis has some of the most unpredictable weather in the country, so we will have an amazing event no matter how the weather treats us.”

The Lynn boys enjoy the Loop Ice Carnival in University City, Missouri in Jan. 2020. (Spectrum News/Stacy Lynn)