The 7th annual Ice Festival is under way in Cripple Creek, with cartoons being the theme for participating sculptors.

The festival will be held along Bennett Avenue this weekend and next weekend.  The event features interactive ice sculptures, street vendors and a variety of other attractions.

"We also have our museums that are doing extended hours and discounted admissions," said Maria Cunningham, the festival's coordinator.  "All the casinos have special promotions to help go along with the ice festival."

The festival will benefit from a decision by the Colorado Department of Transportation to delay closing lanes for a flood control project along U.S. 24 in Ute Pass.  Cunningham said closing lanes this weekend might have hurt attendance.

About 70,000 people are expected to attend the festival, she said.

For more information about the event, visit: