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SUPERIOR - Most of us don't like to think about it, but in just a few months we'll be seeing below-zero temperatures and snow storms. But new this year on Barkers Island will be home to the world’s largest ice sculpture -- at least that's the hope.
Roger Hanson of Big Lake Minnesota is a self-proclaimed ice man. Since 2007, he's taken his love for computers to build enormous ice sculptures right in his back yard.
This year, he'll build one on the shores of Lake Superior.
On a warm and windy September day, all Hanson could think about is when things will start to freeze over.
"Last year was perfect conditions," Hanson laughed.
To keep himself busy, Hanson makes ice sculptures bigger than his house on the Mississippi River.
"Every year I do this it's got to be bigger and better," Hanson said.
The sculpture is started by spraying waste water from his home geo-thermal system onto cable wires. With computer programming at his expertise, Hanson came up with a way for his historically large sculptures to essentially craft themselves.
This year, instead of using water from his home, he’ll have a pump pulling water out of the Superior Bay.
"I've always said I want a bigger canvas, this is a nice canvas,” he said while envisioning his masterpiece. “This is my artwork. This is what I do."
Hanson hopes the ice sculpture on Barkers Island is the biggest one yet, and will go into the Guinness Book of World Records.
It'll stand 90 feet wide and 70 feet tall.
Superior city officials say you’ll be able to see it from Highway 2/53 where 27,000 people drive on a daily basis.
"This attraction can serve as an economic engine to drive tourism traffic at a time of year that we sorely need it," said Superior’s director of parks and recreation, Mary Morgan.
The Superior city council approved the project Tuesday night with the hope of attracting thousands exclusively to Superior.
"It's just so unique,” said Morgan. “It's not been done in a community aside from a residential backyard, so there's some unknowns in the mix."
To keep tabs on the sculpture, Hanson will be living next to it.
"I'm going to have a camper here,” Hanson laughed. “I'm going to be staying here 24/7."
Superior is paying him $30,000, but he says to build an ice sculpture like his, it's still not enough.
"It doesn't cover all my costs but I'm really happy,” Hanson said. “I feel real fortunate that they're able to do this much for me."
Being given the resources he needs to break a world record is more than Hanson could ever ask for.
"This is going to be fun,” he smiled. “This is going to be a fantastic ordeal."
The Barker’s Island sculpture will be Hanson’s 7th masterpiece.
Construction all depends on the weather.
It's expected start mid-November and reach its peak height in February.
To follow Superior’s Ice Sculpture developments, click here.