It all started when the polar bear refused to disappear. Artist Karl Krueger had entered his giant snow, wood and wire sculpture in the 2009 Dummy Demolition so that it could be launched off the slope at Golden Peak -- but the bear survived unscathed. After that, Vail Village put the sculpture on display, and for the past two years, Krueger's creations have been a winter tradition.
For this year's celebration, Krueger is building eight bears and one cub, known collectively as Arctic Wandering, which will be placed around the village with paw prints leading up to each one. People anticipate the return of the bears each year, according to coordinator Molly Eppard. "I think it's the unexpected experience of walking around the village and then stumbling upon this large, majestic creature," she says. "You always see so many people taking their family pictures with the bears."
The first four bears will go up today in Vail Village; the other five will make their debut at 5 p.m. on January 13, at a lighting ceremony kicking off the Fifth Annual Triumph Winterfest along Gore Creek Promenade. For more information on the Winterfest and Arctic Wandering, which will remain up through February 13, go to www.artinvail.com.
Dec. 23-Feb. 13, 2011