Construction on Eagle River ice castle begins

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EAGLE RIVER, Wis. (WSAW) -- A nearly 90 year tradition returns to Eagle River: the annual ice castle.

Work to construct the castle is expected to begin Jan. 3. It's expected to be completed by Jan. 8.

Eagle River Area Fire Department Chief Michael Anderson said over the course of 5 days, 80-100 volunteers help built the ice castle. Forty of them are firefighters and others are just members of the community that help out.

The ice is harvested from Silver Lake. Blocks are typically 12 to 14 inches thick.

The fire department has led the ice castle construction for the last 20 years.

Due to weather, the castle wasn't constructed in 2011, 2012 or 2015.

There is no fee to see the ice castle, but donations benefit fire prevention programs.