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World’s biggest indoor snow and ice park opens in China

By Martha Zhou, CNN

Beijing (CNN) — The world’s largest indoor ice and snow theme park has officially opened its doors to the public, giving visitors to the city of Harbin in northeast China a chance to feel wintery temperatures year-round.

The country’s northernmost metropolis, Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province. Also known as the Ice City, it experiences long, cold and snowy winters with short, cool summers. The annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival began in 1999 and is held every year from December to early March.

A Guinness World Records official awarded the Harbin Ice and Snow World Company the certification for the “world’s largest indoor ice and snow theme park” during this month’s opening ceremony.

Ironically, the opening coincided with a heat wave in Harbin, with outdoor temperatures peaking at 29 degrees C (84 F), while the indoor theme park maintained a chilly -8 C to -12 C (17.6 F to 10.4 F) temperature.

Covering an area of 23,800 square meters, the new Harbin Ice and Snow World Park, which opened on July 6, is divided into nine themed sections with 13 interactive projects. Utilizing advanced ice sculpting techniques and incorporating cutting-edge lighting, sound and interactive technologies, the park offers an immersive experience.

The ice used in the construction of the park’s attractions was sourced from the Songhua River, with a total ice volume of 20,000 cubic meters. Once inside, visitors can enjoy a magical atmosphere filled with ice, light, entertainment, gourmet food and cultural creations. There are also vibrant ice sculptures of fruit, ice cream and cakes made using edible dyes through an environmentally-friendly special coloring process.

Harbin’s annual snow and ice festival brings tens of thousands of tourists from China and elsewhere, but this new attraction is aimed at extending the city’s tourist season and transforming it into a year-round destination.

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