The focal point of the March 5 Opening Ceremonies for the Arctic Winter Games will be the lighting of the cauldron. Its flame will burn throughout the week, as a symbol of spirit of the Games.
“The mystery is ‘who is going to light the torch,’” said Max Fjelstad, cultural and facilities manager for the Games. So far that remains a tightly guarded secret, to be revealed at the very last moment.
The stainless steel flame-cupped cauldron stands nearly nine feet tall and weighs 1,100 pounds. It has four human silhouettes as its base, with a specially perforated mounted cap on top to protect its flame from Arctic winds.
After the Opening Ceremonies, the cauldron will be on display outside the Sports Center throughout the Games.
The flame will be extinguished during the March 11 closing ceremonies. The cauldron will then be placed at the borough building, to become a permanent post-Game monument.
The initial design was created by Kenai Central High School graduate Dustin Moore, currently a student at Washington State University. Turning the design into reality was the job of the Dowland-Bach company of Anchorage, who volunteered the materials and their fabrication expertise as a donation to the Games and the Peninsula community.
Ten mini-cauldron replicas were also fabricated and donated by Dowland-Bach to be presented as a legacy memento to participating municipalities.
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