Due to warm weather, Snowking’s Winter Festival will be closed during the day starting March 19.
The castle will now be closed to the general public until 5 p.m. but will continue to remain open in the evenings.
Kids’ Night will be Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Cabin Fever Reliever music show with Baby Brian and Megan Nash will be held on Friday at 9 p.m.
Snowkademy will also continue as scheduled in the mornings this week for those who have registered.
Laura Busch, communications officer with the festival, said the shutdown comes as the heat is softening to the snow.
“There haven’t been any safety issues yet but when the temps get above freezing, the snow gets too soft,” Busch said.
This is a preventative measure to avoid damage to the castle, according to Busch.
“This is to protect the castle from all the wear and tear it would take during the day,” she said. “We aren’t as busy during the weekdays, so we’ll be saving the castle for the evening when the temperatures drop and everything hardens.”
The Snowking team will keep an eye on the weather and could reopen during the daytime, subject to changing conditions.
“The forecast says it will remain warm for at least this week, but the forecast is one thing and reality is another,” Busch said.
This is the first time in 24 seasons that the castle has had to close.
Byron Fitzky, who has lead the building crew for the last three years, said the state of the structural integrity of the castle is perfectly fine and the crew has been carefully monitoring the castle daily.
“This was on our radar last week, as we measured the surface temperatures on the snow, which will actually reach temperatures as high as 7C or 8C,” Fitzky said. “When it gets this soft, it cannot stand up to the wear and tear of high traffic.”
Fitzky said the crew is also considering opening the castle up in the evenings for the remainder of March break, weather permitting.