L.A. may be cool, but it’s never been cooler than what will be presented at the L.A. in Ice exhibit at the 2010 L.A. County Fair.
Various Los Angeles landmarks and many Fair favorites will be interpreted in huge crystalline creations at the show. For Roland Hernandez, this is the perfect summer job. He got to sculpt huge blocks of ice into the intricate sculptures featured in L.A. in Ice.
L.A. in Ice will be a bit of a homecoming for Hernandez. When he was just 18, he won a junior division ice-carving contest at the Fair, and came back five years later to win the professional division.
The owner of Carving Ice of Anaheim and Orlando, Fla., and producer of L.A. in Ice, credits his mentor Kazu Ogino, head chef of the Century Plaza Hotel with whom he apprenticed, for lighting the fire of carved ice creativity.
“I was the youngest apprentice to work with a Master Chef,” Hernandez recalled of the time. “And he decided I was going to learn how to carve ice. The year I won the junior division, Kazu won the professional division.”
Using chainsaws, drills, chisels and computer-programmed routers, Hernandez and fellow ice-carver Mike Daukas (who has been carving for 35 years) started working 10 days before the Fair’s Opening Weekend to sculpt icy images.They start chipping away at 350-pound blocks of ice and, once they’re done, LED lighting completes their fantastical designs.
“This is going to be a tremendous exhibit for the L.A. County Fair,” Hernandez promised. “We’ll have the famed Hollywood Sign, of course, Santa Monica Pier, images of L.A.’s sports teams, and more.”
Fairguests will walk through a transitional cooler before they enter the exhibit displayed in a freezer with walls lined by 300-pound blocks of ice. Estimated temperatures will range between 15 and 20 degrees, and there will be jackets and blankets available to keep guests warm.
L.A. in Ice continues through the Fair, Sept. 4 to Oct. 3. Hours are Sunday, Sept. 5, 10 a.m.-midnight; Monday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Wednesdays, noon-10 p.m.; Thursdays, noon-11 p.m.; Fridays, noon-midnight; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-midnight; and Sundays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit lacountyfair.com.
Under the direction of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, Fairplex is home to the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in the world, as well as The Learning Centers which encompasses Fairtime Learning, The Child Development Center, The Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC), the Junior Fair Board, and the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts. Fairplex also operates a diverse hospitality business with the Sheraton Fairplex, McKinley’s Grille, KOA RV Park, Finish Line Sports Grill, Cornucopia Foods, and the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center (opening 2011). The campus is also home to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona; horse-racing and Barretts Equine Limited; as well as the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. For more information, please visit www.fairplex.com.