Nine-degree weather could not stop people from visiting Downtown Chambersburg for the 13th Annual Ice Fest from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1. Many people from near and far visited downtown Chambersburg for the event.
Artists began to carve ice sculptures on Jan. 29, and workers set out to hang LED lights on the fountain, slide and trees. Moreover, visitors could enjoy ice slides and watch giant sculpture carving.
The event officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the square sponsored by M&T Bank. Free refreshments were provided throughout the event.
On Friday, people could enjoy free s’mores and warm up their bodies with a camp fire. On Saturday they held a pancake breakfast, chili cook-off and hot pepper eating contest. They tried to warm people with spicy food. Also, free movies and cake welcomed visitors.
The last day, Feb. 1, the committee held the first Annual Football Fun Run at Chambers Fort Park and Frozen Movie events for kids, including face painting, character acting and a sing-a-long.
The main attraction, of course, was ice carving, which offered unique experiences to visitors. People could see not only completed ice sculptures and take pictures with them, but could also see ice artists’ giant sculpture carving. While carving the sculptures, they built a wall with ice blocks first and then started to carve it, putting on a show for the crowd.
Wilson College had a sculpture this year, eliciting student pride. Wilson College had a sculpture with the letter “W” representing Wilson’s trademark. Also, the sculpture displayed the school year.
During Ice Fest, Wilson college students enjoyed seeing the ice sculpture and took pictures that would end up on social media. It was fun for students and also a good advertisement for the community.
Christian Wagner ’18 said, “It was fun. It wasn’t my first time because my dad grew up here, so I’ve been every single year. It’s pretty much the same but the sculptures are different each year.”
The most popular sculpture was the throne.
“The chair was fun. I get the picture on that chair every year. It’s a sentimental thing to prove that I went through this year,” said Wagner. In fact, people waited in line to take pictures with the throne this year.
The Ice Fest also benefited the local economy. People who came to Chambersburg for Ice Fest were potentially good consumers during their visits. Sue Hadley, owner of Tuscarora Mt. Winery, said Ice Fest wiped them out, even though her store is located outside of the square in Downtown Chambersburg. “Ice Fest is our busiest day of the whole year, even counting Christmas. Probably seventy-five percent more than normal days,” said Hadley.
Ice Fest is an exciting downtown annual event for visitors and the local economy. This event allowed local people go see what is going on and have fun with their families. People who do not live in Chambersburg could find good places that they can visit throughout the year. It is a good way for people to develop an interest in the town.
Chambersburg cannot wait for next year’s Ice Fest.