Saaremaa opts for ice sculptures instead of fireworks

One of the ice sculptures in Orissaare.
One of the ice sculptures in Orissaare. Source: Margus Muld / ERR

The Saaremaa municipality government has decided to remove fireworks from its New Year's Eve celebration program this year and local enthusiasts are providing ice sculptures to still offer people a visual experience.

More and more Estonian municipality governments have dropped or are dropping fireworks from New Year's Eve celebrations. This year, Saaremaa municipality also opted to remove their traditional fireworks show from the program, but since the decision was made recently, there are no alternative ideas.

Local enthusiasts in the Orissaare region have started to create ice sculptures and have already placed three down in Orissaare. "If we have good weather, they will last for a very long time and there is reason to take a walk at night with your children. But I think these could be an extra layer, if you want a similar 'wow'-effect to fireworks. You could use sound and lighting equipment, which many Estonian cities already do," sculptor Elo Liiv said.

While Saaremaa itself will not put on a fireworks show, people are free to let off fireworks of their own. "True, we have not banned it, but we are not directing any public money to it this year. The coronavirus situation has escalated around the world, there are many signs of danger and that is one of the reasons for why Saaremaa municipality government decided against organizing a fireworks show this year," Saaremaa municipality deputy mayor Koit Voojärv said.

Although Orissaare is a coastal region, some help was received from Latvia, as it turns out that the ice for sculptures is especially good there. Elo Liiv said the sea ice from Orissaare cannot be used, since it is not crystal clear.

"You need to mix the ice to get it clear. There are special machines and they slowly move it around until freezing temperature to have it freezing evenly," the sculptor said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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