Santa Claus takes the plunge at Moody Gardens to mark the return of the Ice Land sculptures
Moody Gardens will bring back its Ice Land exhibit in November.
Photo: Moody Gardens
Although his sleigh was delayed by thunderstorms this morning, Santa plunged into an icy reservoir in Moody Gardens on Friday to signal the imminent arrival of holiday attractions in the resort town of Galveston, including the return of the famous Ice Land sculpture garden.
The tank’s safety lock was on, so it took half a dozen casts to sink Santa Claus.
From November 18 to January 7, this year’s Ice Land will be themed A Caribbean Christmas. Teams of expert sculptors from Harbin, China – site of the famous International Snow and Ice Festival – will shape two million pounds of ice into hammerhead sharks, whales, palm trees and other geographically appropriate flora and fauna. Santa Claus is also expected to show up, relaxing on the beach to stock up on energy for his long night of delivering toys around the world.
Jerri Hamachek, Marketing Director of Moody Gardens, says that despite other attractions such as the Festival of Lights, train rides and Arctic Slide, Ice Land in particular has been missed a lot. In the long interval since 2019, the last time sculptors were able to travel from China, she has been besieged by curious guests asking when and if she would return.
“We really had a big influx of people,” she says. “It’s not that they didn’t enjoy the Festival of Lights and everything, and especially with the pandemic, it was really great to be able to do that. They really missed Ice Land, so we decided to bring him back.
Chris Gray is a Galveston-based writer.