Embracing winter: Bismarck man creates ice sculptures in his front yard

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:55 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:13 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Spring is still a couple of months away, and while we patiently wait for warmer weather, one Bismarck man has found a way to make people smile, even on the coldest winter days.

And the good news: he’s not done yet.

Dean Ficek didn’t plan to have five nutcracker ice sculptures in his front yard.

“I guess I got carried away,” he said with a shrug.

But Ficek loves being outdoors.

" I thought why not do something when you’re outside? Do something positive,” Ficek said. “I like trying to come up with new ideas.”

This idea was inspired by a little wooden nutcracker.

“I thought that would be fun to build. Of course, there’s a drummer boy,” he said.

Each of Ficek’s sculptures is unique.

“They all have different crowns because we all have different personalities,” he explained.

Ficek uses five-gallon buckets, old yogurt containers and even a snowball maker to create all the parts. Then, he uses special “ice glue” to hold the pieces together.

“It’s just water,” he said with a smile. “These creations put a smile on people’s faces.”

This isn’t the first time Ficek has turned piles of snow into pieces of art. His wife, Sharon, proudly shows off his previous masterpieces.

“Last year, I had a yard full of ice mushrooms,” he recalled. “And I had a collection of minions and some little girls down the street just fell in love with them. It’s fun making people happy.”

It seems winter might be what makes Ficek happy. He also built a 61-foot-long ice rink in his backyard. He wouldn’t lace up his skates for our camera, but his wife shared cell phone video she captured. Proof, there is joy in the small things, and joy even on the coldest winter days.

You can see Ficek ‘s artwork in his front yard on Ashwood Avenue in south Bismarck.

He’s building a new sculpture now and hopes to have it added to the display soon.

By the way, he doesn’t add color to his sculptures, because he says that attracts heat and that makes them melt quicker.