MINNEAPOLIS - For Dave Stacken, of Excelsior, purple pride can’t just live on land.
The devoted Vikings fan has spent months constructing what he’s dubbed, the “Viking Ice Ship”, a backyard ship made entirely of ice, with an ice bar inside.
“My mindset is you embrace winter. It’s kind of like me being a kid again playing in the backyard, it’s a way to keep me young too,” said Stacken.
Stacken, who will soon turn 56, first envisioned the ice ship when he was on Spring Break in Mexico, while swimming up the pool bar, and made his own frozen version by constructing a frame from trampoline poles, PVC pipe and fabric. Slowly, he sturdied his creation with layers of ice. He created blocks of ice by filling up storage bins and garbage cans with water.
“A lot of people drive by and honk the horn. I just had a neighbor poke his head over the fence and say, ‘I knew what you were doing from the minute I saw the PVC tubing,’ it’s really been positive and fun,” said Stacken.
The Viking Ice Ship isn't exactly his maiden voyage. He has built backyard ice rinks and ice bars for years, but never a ship on course for the Super Bowl.
“We are such big Vikings fans, especially my Dad,” said Kelly Stacken, his daughter. “This my first time helping him from the years he's done it and I actually feared for my life a couple times because of how heavy the ice chunks were. This is by far the best one.”
Stacken still needs to adorn the ice ship with purple lights, hang a few TVs, and get food and drinks ready for a Sunday party, filling up the ship.
The way he sees it, in the North, we are all the in same boat, so why not head outside, and voyage a way to victory?
“On Sunday, at 3:40pm when we kick off, when we beat the New Orleans Saints, that is what is going to make it all worth it. I would probably be beside myself with joy and happiness,” said Stacken. “And it's my birthday on Sunday, all I want is a Viking win, it's all I need.”