Even Anna and Elsa needed handwarmers to battle the cold Monday.  But thousands of Clevelanders tromped around Lake Erie to take in the water — frozen water.

Families sprayed snow with food coloring. Kids zoomed down an ice slide and hit slapshots with the Cleveland Monsters display. And everyone marveled at ice sculptures at North Coast Harbor’s fourth annual Ice Fest.

“We’ve had some great weather lately, which is awesome,” said Jeff Meyers, an ice carver with Broadview Heights-based Elegant Ice. “I mean, not for you guys, but for us.”

Meyers was carving a horse head live at Ice Fest. His team created more than two dozen sculptures — some brightly painted, using gelatin! — that dazzled thousands of Clevelanders who also took advantage of free museum admission at the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while they were off school and work for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“That’s made of ice? Wow!” said John Newman of Cleveland, from the warmth of the Science Center, whose atrium provided a fantastic view of the skating rink of a harbor and the ice sculptures ringing it.

There were Cleveland Browns and Monsters and Cleveland Triathlon logos, Superman, a castle, a fish and a My Little Pony. There was an ice throne, presided over by Anna and Elsa, princess sisters from the Disney movie Frozen.

Before they’re cut with a chain saw and array of tools, each block of ice weighs about 300 pounds, said Meyers of Brunswick, who has been carving for 16 years.

The blocks take three to five days to make, freezing circulating water so it’s harder and completely clear.

The frigid weather allows carvers to make more intricate pieces without worrying they will melt to a point and become dangerous, Meyers said.

The day fluctuated between sun and snow, and got up to about 25 degrees.

“I’m great,” said North Coast Harbor Project Manager Jessica Kerr, who plans the Ice Fest each year. “I have neoprene socks on, like scuba divers wear.”

What else is happening at Ice Fest today?

  • DJ Arctic & the fire and light LED performers  5:30pm
  • WOW air Fire & Ice Tower lighting 5:45PM
  • WOW air Iceland GIVEAWAY drawing 6:00pm
  • Swensons Food Truck  5:30pm-7pm