Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Meltdown?

The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival is held on the last weekend of January and includes events the week leading up to the weekend.

The next Meltdown will be held January 26-27, 2023.

How long do the ice sculptures last?

Depending on the weather, the ice sculptures can last a day to up to weeks after the festival.

Where can I eat during the Meltdown?

There are many restaurants, cafes, and bakeries located in Richmond. See Visit Richmond’s listing of eateries to find a restaurant that appeals to you.

There will be food trucks at Jack Elstro Plaza on Friday from 6 pm to 10 pm and Saturday noon to 10 pm.

How do they make the ice blocks?

A Clinebell machine makes the ice blocks used for carving. The machine freezes water slowly from the bottom up so that impurities and air bubbles aren’t trapped in the ice. This creates crystal-clear blocks of ice that our carvers use to turn into works of art.

Does it cost money to look at the ice sculptures?

No, there is no fee to walk around and view the sculptures. You can take photos or videos of these magnificent works of art so long as you don’t block traffic flow or impede others from enjoying the artwork themselves. There may be a charge for individual Meltdown events.

How did the carvers learn to carve these giant ice sculptures?

Most of the ice carvers learned to carve ice in culinary school! That means they’re fantastic chefs too!

Where can I park to see the Meltdown?

View the City of Richmond’s parking map.

There are a number of public parking lots throughout the downtown area and the Richmond Depot District. You may park in any spots that are not marked reserved. In addition, most streets in the area are available for on-street parking. There are no parking meters in Richmond.

The city has developed an online map detailing the available places to park. Since most of the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival events take place in and around Jack Elstro Plaza, the closest parking lots are the North 6th Street Lot (The Legion Lot), the Downtown Parking Garage, and the South 6th Street Lot (The Elder-Beerman Lot).

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