With fireworks banned in the municipality, Downtown Anchorage was one of the few places in the state to see them live.
“Pretty cool!” is how Angelina Hamilton summed up the show. The 5th grader was visiting from the Yukon River village of Grayling, where New Year’s Eve is much quieter than the hustle and bustle of "Fire and Ice," Anchorage's annual New Year's Eve celebration that ends with a 10 minute fireworks display. Ten minutes of light and fire that took about three hours in the ice and dark to set up.
"Alaskans come from all over for this event. They play on the ice sculptures, they eat the food, they dance, they watch the fireworks, and they love it, every minute of it,” said Chris Schutte, the director of the Downtown Partnership.
The proof wasn't hard to find among hundreds of happy faces in the crowd at Town Square enjoying the festivities.
“The concert so far has been crazy, crazy, fire dancing over here, and the concert over there, it’s pretty crazy. It’s awesome,” said Derek Steele.
In a state where people are used to braving cold weather, a good portion of the crowd stuck around for the light show’s finale.
“It’s big and loud and bright, especially up here when it’s so dark. It’s a good time to have them,” said Matthew Widederholt.
Event organizers estimated between 4,000 and 7,000 people attended Fire and Ice this New Year’s Eve.