Cool work . . . Auckland ice sculptor Vitor Cagayat working on a tribute in recognition of Blackwells Department store’s 150 years of retialing in Kaiapoi. He sculpted the tribute in the car park last Saturday during the store’s Fire and Ice Festival. Photos: Shelley Topp


Kaiapoi retailer Andrew Blackwell had a few nervous moments last Saturday when fog stopped early morning flights out of Auckland airport.

Final tribute . . . Andrew Blackwell, left, with family friends Greg Comfort, and Maarten Loeffen, beside the finished tribute.

Andrew, the Blackwell’s Department Store managing director, was busy preparing for the store’s annual Fire and Ice Festival later in the day when he was told about the fog.

For a short time it looked like it would derail the event with the show’s star, Auckland ice sculptor Victor Cagayat, still in Auckland and unable to travel south.

Luckily the fog lifted and Victor was able to catch

a later flight to Christchurch to begin his ice sculpting demonstration in the Blackwell’s car park only 30 minutes later than scheduled.

Warming up . . . A fire dancer performing during the festival.

The sculpting and Fire and Ice Night Market were run in support of the Kaiapoi Art Expo next door at the Kaiapoi Club.

“We wanted to complement it and give

something back to the community for supporting our store,” says Mr Blackwell.

Victor carved four ice sculptures during his public demonstration, including the one recognising the Blackwell family’s forthcoming 150th anniversary of retailing in Kaiapoi, next month.

Ice art . . . Sculptures by Victor Cagayat.

A large crowd later gathered at the night market to see the ice sculptures lit up, listen to Argentinian-born, Christchurch-based guitarist and guitar teacher, Santiago Samonta, watch the fire dancers perform and sample food from around 20 stalls.

Market visitors were also able to shop at Blackwell’s Department Store, which remained open until late.