PALMER — There’s a new wintertime activity available at the Alaska State Fairgrounds, The Ice Maze.

True to its name, The Ice Maze is a frozen fortress that visitors can wander through, giving them the chance to explore a winter wonderland with plenty of twists and turns and calm instrumental music playing in the background.

“We’re excited to have The Ice Maze on the Fairgrounds. It’s just wonderful to have activities on the grounds through the winter period for our community to enjoy,” ASF marketing and communications manager, Melissa Keefe said.

The Ice Maze was made from the cold ground up by one man, Cory Livingood. He said that he established the company last summer and spent an average of 21 hours a day preparing the maze over the 2021/2022 winter season. The recent severe storm conditions didn’t help his efforts in the slightest.

“It was not easy,” Livingood said with a laugh.

Livingood said the first day seemed to be working out, hearing positive feedback from visitors Thursday, Jan. 13.

“Everybody’s been enjoying it,” Livingood said.

Livingood said this is the first maze he’s ever built, ice or otherwise. He said that he’s sculpted ice and snow creations across the country for many years, and this is his first major project in Alaska.

“I’ve been talking about doing a maze for a long time,” Livingood said. “Eventually, it all came together… I made it to the area. I like the way it turned out, I really do.”

When it comes to building an ice maze, Livingood said that he wanted to go big or go home. He said that it made sense to set up at the Fairgrounds, home to some of the world’s largest cabbages and pumpkins; and the state itself, the largest in the nation.

“It’s a great spot. I really like this spot. I like the feel of it,” Livingood said. “I really like the idea of the largest ice maze being here.”

Livingood said that his main goal behind all this is to break the world record for the largest ice maze. He said that he’s currently going through the various steps to verify his project’s validity with Guinness World Records, and he’s confident that his final product has what it takes to make it to the top.

“It’s always been there in the back of my head,” Livingood said.

Looking long-term, Livingood said that he would like The Ice Maze to be an annual winter recreation activity people can look forward to every season. He said that it’s possible that he’ll be at the Fairgrounds again next year.

“I do want to do this year after year,” Livingood said.

The only real concern Livingood has is the current warm weather. He said the ideal temperature needs to be below freezing at the least. He said that he’s assured that the maze will last, and plenty of people will be able to enjoy it this season.

“It’s a solid chunk of ice,” Livingood said.

The Ice Maze is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit alaskastatefair.org/site/ice-maze.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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