Art shanty projects initiates plan beach due to poor ice conditions


Due to rapidly deteriorating ice on Bdé Umáŋ / Lake Harriet, Art Shanty Projects’ annual program will be presented as “Plan Beach” this year instead of ‘On-Ice.” Operations Director Kerri Jamison states, “We started off the new year celebrating 13 inches of good, clear ice. Unfortunately the recent snowstorm created a warm cozy blanket over the whole lake, acting as insulation. That, paired with the warming temperatures, caused a deep slush to form on top, and the clear ice has been reduced to 6 inches at the site where our village should be. While 4 inches of ice is needed for walking on the lake, we need 10 inches to operate safely with crowds and structures.” The organization acknowledges that while the situation presents disappointment, moving to Plan Beach was an easy decision to make. Artistic Director Erin Lavelle says, “We take safety seriously and the conditions and forecast are not promising. We cannot control these circumstances, so we respond to them creatively!”

The program opens to the public Jan,21 as planned, but on land throughout the Lake Harriet Bandshell park. The festival will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., from Jan. 21 through Feb. 12 with no change in dates or hours.

This is not the first time Art Shanty Projects has had to adapt to melting lakes and unsafe ice conditions. Lavelle herself has evacuated her past shanties (Slumber Party Shanty in 2016, 2017) from White Bear Lake when the temperatures reached the 40s and 50s. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)


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