EXCELSIOR -- The Ice Castles will open on Saturday down in Excelsior. The popular winter experience has become a Minnesota tradition.

This is the first year the Ice Castles has been built in Excelsior, with previous locations in Stillwater, Eden Prairie and the Mall of America.

Spokeswoman Amanda Roseth says there are some exciting features.

We have an unbelievably long slide this year that people can go down.  It's going to be crazy fun.  It's probably almost twice the length of our slide last year.

Other features include ice-carved tunnels, fountains, frozen thrones, and towers embedded with color-changing LED lights.

Artisans have spent the past five weeks growing, harvesting, and hand-placing icicles to create the life-sized winter playground.  The frozen creation is made up of 25 million pounds of ice on an acre of land.

Roseth says it is best to reserve your tickets in advance on their website.

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