When you live in a city north of the 60th parallel, where the sun only rises for a few hours a day by the middle of December and the roads are covered in ice and snow for more than half the year, seeing February finally come to an end is cause for celebration.
For the past 21 years, the people in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, have been shaking off their winter blues by partying in a snow castle built on the frozen waters of Great Slave Lake. The castle has been built every winter under the watch of a house-boating versifier known simply as the Snowking. It originally started as a modest project so his children could have somewhere to play, but over the years, the Snowking and his crew have become increasingly ambitious with their plans.
As the castle has grown the festival has evolved into a month-long party in a frozen fortress that hosts concerts, burlesque and fashion shows, art exhibitions, as well as more family-friendly performances. For the past 10 years one of the most anticipated events has been the Royal Rave, which is hosted by the local Bush League DJs (King Friday and Soda Jerk). The rave is one of the biggest electronic music events in town, so partygoers tend to take the celebrations pretty seriously.
The castle is slowly melting back into the lake whence it came, but VICE captured this year's scene—including a giant two-lane slide made of ice that partygoers could race on.
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