Despite warm temperatures, it’s no sweat for St. Paul ice palace

At mid-afternoon on Thursday, 2 degrees separated Daytona Beach, Florida and St. Paul, Minnesota. But you know what they’re not doing in Daytona? Trying to build a monstrous ice palace.

But, despite the comparatively warm temperatures (it only feels like blistering heat because…. well, you know), there was hardly a puddle to be found at St. Paul’s Rice Park, nearly the entire width and length of it cordoned off for the construction effort.

The secret to building a strong and safe ice castle, ironically, is heat. Workers are using flames (above) to mate each of the 3,700 blocks of ice, which barely glistened in the 41 degree temperatures, although there was some evidence of the effect of the warm spell.

Overnight temperatures will drop back to below freezing, assisting the e. pluribus unum method of ice castle construction.

Alas, not all ice blocks get to grow up to be an ice palace. This is St. Paul’s other “crashed ice.”