Timeline of SnowCastle History
Tons of Snow used
Guests slept in the SnowHotel
Happy couples got married
Finland has the purest air in the world and more than 70 % of our area is forest in where you can find peace, space and quiet. In this year, we took advantage of 26 000 m³ of snow and 300 m³ ice carved magnificent ice sculptures of the pure nature, forests and interesting wild life in Finland and in Sea Lapland. Since our nature is quite different than elsewhere, we also wanted to show off the animals and landscapes from all over the world to the castle.
Finland 100 years
Kemi SnowCastle opened the gates for the 22nd time, now in new location. We were proud to be the official partner of the Finland 100 years organisation as Finland celebrated this year its 100th anniversary. The world’s largest SnowRestaurant was more than 70 metres long and seated 250 guests. Unique Seaside Glass Villas opened in the SnowCastle area for the first time provided a fantastic opportunity to witness the Northern Lights from August to April and Midnight Sun in the summer time. The sea next to the SnowCastle area freezes in the winter time and offers a unique playground for all visitors.
Castle in the Castle
The SnowCastle in Kemi is Evento Awards Winner 2016.
The SnowHotel won two prizes in the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2016. It is the Global Winner as a Bespoken Luxury Experience and a country winner as a Ecofriendly hotel.
The way of Finland
In winter 2015 we celebrated the 20th SnowCastle of Kemi by performance of Sonata Arctica in Opening Ceremony. The celebratory year was about life in Finland; about the Finnish way of living especially in the winter – the Way of Finland. We also wanted to show some of the Finnish design in our own premises as well as in our products. Therefore within the celebratory SnowCastle we could see numerous Finnish brand-names, among others the Aarikka and Ivana Helsinki.
The Jubilee Exhibition opened in December 2014 and started the 20th anniversary celebratory year of the SnowCastle of Kemi. The exhibition mounted in the historic Customs Storehouse right in the vicinity of the SnowCastle in the Inner Harbour of the city of Kemi, it was be open throughout the celebratory year 2015. The exhibition is a collection of the history of the SnowCastle in words, photos as well as objects and articles from the years gone by The snow-how, the professional building of snow that got its start in the city of Kemi, as well as its development over the years, and the particular construction and lighting-techniques involved in building a SnowCastle, have their own share in the exhibition.
Secrets of the Sea
The new Olokolo nests, suitable for luxurious drives pulled by a snowmobile, or for warm accommodation under the stars, were launched. The SnowRestaurant was more popular than ever. During February over 70 dinner quests per night were enjoying the atmosphere and delicacies at the SnowRestaurant.
Fantasia in the SnowCastle
Back to the “normal Finnish winter” – the building of the SnowCastle begun already in mid-December. The weather conditions were suitable for building, and the Castle was ready for finishing sculpting of ice and snow in good time. The warm Castle Lounge was renovated for this season.
The Olympics in SnowCastle
This year the beginning of real winter was really late – even in Northern Finland the snow came as late as in the end of December. The building of the SnowCastle begun, only three weeks before the opening night. The building team worked as a well-traided sports team, and the hard work was worth golden medal – the sports-themed SnowCastle was opened as planned.
Romantic Nationalism in the SnowCastle
The SnowCastle 2010 had the honour of hosting the 50 th anniversary of the celebrated Lapponia Jewellery this year and received compliments of being the most beautiful SnowCastle ever! The theme for this year was “National Romanticism” which was prominent especially in the iceand snow-sculpting work around the Castle. In the IceGallery a glamorous exhibition of the International Lapponia Jewellery was on show. The fashion show “Fantasy” with local comic performers fancied the taste of adults. The cabinets in the SnowRestaurant were designed and named according to renowned Finnish artists and their work, among them Jean Sibelius. The classical music of Sibelius was played in the SnowRestaurant throughout the day. The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 21 000 m³ (corresponding 2 100 lorry-truck-loads) with services: the SnowRestaurant, SnowHotel, SnowChapel, SnowLand, and the CastleLounge.
In the opening ceremony the audience had a chance to enjoy an unforgettable Pyrotechnic Musical, “Memory Con Te”. The theme for the 14 th SnowCastle was “Design,” and an impressive Ice-gallery was constructed within the SnowCastle with robust ice-slabs containing the JAUR Steel Design Collections from Lapland. The internationally renowned and well awarded designer Eero Hyrkäs was in charge of this exhibition and of the JAUR products used also for serving food in the SnowRestaurant.
The American TV-News Company ABC Networks with Diane Sawyer filmed the Good Morning America-Show live in the SnowCastle. About 1 million viewers watched this show throughout the world.
The SnowChapel was twice as large as last year with about 100 seats, and as the Valentine´s Day this year happened to be on a Saturday, there were five weddings on that particular day.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 20 000 m³
A Tour around the World
This year, the temperature during December was warmer than before, the act causing the delay of the making of the snow. Despite the mild weather conditions the constructions were completed in record time – in 24 days, and the experience in building with snow increased ever more. In the opening ceremony Kristian Meurmann, the latest star from the Finnish Idols competition, charmed the audience together with a spectacular Show of Fireworks. Lunch was served in the SnowRestaurant for the first time this year, and you could make a tour around the world while strolling around the Castle: the cabinets in the SnowRestaurant were named after the five continents: Asia, America, Africa and Europe. And in addition, famous tourist-attractions from around the world were shaped from ice and snow, among them the Eiffel Tower, the Wall of China as well as the ever infamous Icebreaker Sampo from Kemi. Finnish Jewellery brand Kalevala Koru had an exhibition of its Jubilee-collection in the Hallway of the SnowHotel. Ice- and snow-sculptures designed and completed by Ms. Marika Niittykoski and her team.
The Sea of the World
This year’s theme, the “Sea”, could be seen in the Hallway of the SnowHotel which served as a Gallery and showcase for artfully carved ice-sculptures depicting pirates with their treasures, cannons, parrots, anchors etc. The six different cabinets of the SnowRestaurant were also named after the seas of the world, and there were ice-sculptures in the cabinets as well, including one depicting the other major tourist-attraction in the City of Kemi, the Icebreaker Sampo, the others depicting in turn the Sinking Titanic, and the Ahti, the King of the Seas, and lastly, Harald, the Great Viking with his Ship. The ice-sculpting work was designed and completed, once again, by Ms. Marika Törmikoski with her team. the amount of snow used to build the Castle: 20 000 m³. Ice-painting activities for visitors, and Ropeway-climbing along the snowy walls of the Castle.
The Spectacles of Fire
The eleventh SnowCastle started with the powerful opening of a Concert given by the infamous Finnish rock-band Remu & the Hurriganes entertaining the children visiting the SnowCastle. In this year, the SnowCastle was built for the first timeaccording to a theme, this year’s theme being “Fire”. The red, yellow and blue colours of fire were seen in the lighting of the SnowCastle as well as in the decorations of the Hotel-rooms. The Hallway of the SnowHotel was of special delight with is spacious area of the length of over 40 meters serving as a Gallery and showcase for ice sculptures designed and completed by the internationally renowned Finnish ice-sculpting champion Ms. Marika Törmikoski and her team. For children, in addition to the regular Children’s World this year’s SnowCastle offered special joy with the Nintendo Play Hall in the comforts of the CastleLounge. The snow-sculptures in the SnowCastle Yard as well as a wall-relief in one of the walls of the six cabinets in the SnowRestaurant were designed and completed by the students from the Comprehensive School in the City of Kemi. Couples from Finland, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Italy and Switzerland got married by the altar of the SnowChapel, and three babies were baptized in a quick ceremony surrounded by snowy atmosphere. Special Wedding Fair was organized with a Fashion Show
– The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 20 000 m³ & the SnowCastle area: 8 000 m².
The Tenth Anniversary of the SnowCastle
The tenth SnowCastle opened its doors under a starry sky coloured with the show of spectacular fireworks. Plenty of various happenings took place during this season giving amusement to both the smaller and the bigger visitor as well. The Italian architect Luca Roncoroni designed the decoration of the specially built Tower Hotel in conjunction with the SnowHotel.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 25 000 m³
Programs: weekly changing theme and various performances for children, among them the Moomins and the Clown Pelle Positiivi, and concerts by renowned Finnish Artists as well as an Evening Ice-fishing Competition in the Style of Southern Lapland.
The Icy Touch
The number one novelty was a pure Finnish smoke sauna with an outdoor hot-tub. The SnowHotel, with its newly renovated log-cabin building including the Reception and Lounge area, became ever more popular. The other novelty to culminate this spectacular SnowCastle was the IceGallery with its Icy Spider-world built inside an Ice Igloo. And as far as performances, the Norwegian Terje Isungset was to give something totally new and unique, and utterly suitable in the SnowCastle’s long line of shows: in his first concert ever in Finland, Isungset played music with instruments made of ice in frostily cold January atmosphere. Love was in the air in the SnowChapel as well as many couples said “Yes” during this season. In this year, we hosted the first Moomin show in the SnowCastle.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 18 000 m³
The SnowCastle 2003
The eighth SnowCastle kept its place for the second time on the Market Place, right in the middle of the City Centre of Kemi. The SnowHotel was named as the Mammut SnowHotel after the Swiss leisure-time goods seller Mammut, with whom the SnowCastle was in co-operation by, among others, arranging sleeping-bags made especially for arctic conditions also into the SnowHotel. The Hotel-rooms were designed and decorated by students from the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi and close to 700 people stayed overnight in the SnowHotel.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 15 000 m³.
The programs in the Children’s World changed weekly, and there were regular performances of which to be mentioned are the Blazing Flames Fire Show and the Megaparty Disco in open air.
The SnowCastle 2002
The Seventh SnowCastle arose on a new location on the Market Place in the middle of the City of Kemi. This year the SnowHotel was built in two-stories for the first time. For children, this year, there was a new attraction: kids from around the world fell in love with the Snowball Sea.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 12 000 m³.
Weekly programs included the Live Role-Play “The Sceptre of the Ice King”.
The SnowCastle 2001
Several big Finnish stars performed on the SnowCastle’s open-air stage like Skating-rink, the Concert given by the world-famous group Sonata Arctica, a Band originating from the City of Kemi and also the well-known Danish a-cappella group Vocapella enchanted visitors with its magnificent and unique performance.
Finnish programs: several Concerts by well-known Finnish Bands, among them the Virve Rosti ja Menneisyyden Vangit Concert,
The Millennium SnowCatle 2000
The turn of the millennium was celebrated throughout the world in grand fashion and so did the City of Kemi with its fifth SnowCastle in row. This celebratory year, numerous big stars of the entertainment world performed in the SnowCastle. One of the performers to be mentioned who did a gig in the SnowCastle, is the Bomfunk MC’s whose single “Freestyler” was number 1 seller in Europe in 2000. The Castle itself was the most magnificent SnowCastle ever built.
The SnowCastle 1999 with its Unique Form and Structures
The architectonic form and structures of the fourth SnowCastle reminded the features of ancient temples of the Mayas. This year the Fantasy Ice-skating Show by the world-famous Finnish figure-skaters Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko. And furthermore the builders of the SnowCastle reached into heights never experienced before in this City: the Castle was constructed in three floors and the structures rose into the respectable height of 14, 5 meters! Also, for the very first time it was possible to stay overnight in the SnowHotel.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 16 500 m³.
Finnish programs: the Ice-show by Mrs. Susanna Rahkamo-Kokko and Mr. Petri Kokko, Kemi Boxing Games, the Huvitutti Concert for Children, Concerts by various Finnish Bands, and the Snow Sculpting Finnish Championship Competition.
The Third SnowCastle 1998 in Two Floors
The ever increasing challenge of using snow as building material arose as the designers came up with the idea of building a SnowCastle with two floors for the first time – and the constructors succeeded! A room of 100 m² rose atop on the second floor of the SnowCastle. The media found its way to see this wonder: CNN, Sky Channel, Discovery, Deutsche Welle, BBC… The biggest media of the world made reports of the SnowCastle as well as of the City of Kemi and of all of Finland!
Finnish programs: the Ice show by Mrs. Susanna Rahkamo-Kokko and Mr. Petri Kokko, the Play Snow queen, the Gentleman-tournament (an International Football Tournament for “the old gentlemen”), Kemi Boxing Games, the Iiro Seppänen Magic Show, a Husky-sledge Competition, Concerts by various Finnish Bands and Vocalists, the Finnish Red Cross Charity Concert.
The New SnowCastle 1997
The second SnowCastle in the City of Kemi was even more popular than the Castle of the year before. An exotic IceRestaurant with furnishings made of ice, an Art Gallery, a Chapel and the SnowCastle itself with its massive towers, were an impressive experience – a fabulous Centre of High Culture in Nordic winter!
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 20 000 m³
Finnish programs: the Christmas Opera Amal and the Nightly Guests, a Concert by Ms. Tamara Lund and Mr. Alexandru Ionitza, the Play the Ice Fairytale, a Concert by Mr. Jaakko Ryhänen, and a SnowCastle Boxing Competition
The First Snowcastle1996: the World’s Greatest SnowCastle Ever
The first SnowCastle 1996 was a gift from UNICEF and the City of Kemi to all the children in the world. Everybody in Finland knows the wintry snow, but the majority of children in the world have never seen or experienced what snow is like. And thus the idea of snow stimulates the imagination of every child: what snow looks like, what does it feel and taste like? This was the basic idea when the very first SnowCastle was developed. This SnowCastle also earned its place in the Guinness Book of Records with its 1 100 meter long walls.
The amount of snow used to build the Castle: 30 000 m³
Finnish programs during the season: a Music Concert by Karita Mattila, the world-famous Finnish soprano, the Play the Ice Fairytale, a Concert Competition, an International Hot-air Balloon Event, a UNICEF-Concert, a Dance-performance by the Folk Dance Ensemble Rimpparemmi from Rovaniemi
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