CHAMBERSBURG – Downtown Chambersburg Inc. along with the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg, and the Council for the Arts will once again kick off the celebrated IceFest today, Thursday, Jan. 26 with more than 100 sculptures and activities for the whole family.
The event begins with master ice carvers from DiMartino Ice Co. of Jeannette, Pa., as they fire up the chainsaws and leave a trail of shavings sailing through the air while cipping away at giant blocks of ice. Participants can sit on the life-size ice thrones fit for a king, sip hot chocolate and take a ride down the double ice slide.
IceFest also includes an Icing on the Cake decorating contest (this year’s theme is “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass); art demonstrations and displays, including a youth art exhibit at the Council for the Arts (103 N. Main St.); the dancers of the Chambersburg Ballet and local singers during A Cappella Unplugged.
Children in grades K-5 can enjoy cozy time at the Coyle Free Library Conservatory (102 N. Main St.) thanks to a partnership between Shalom Christian Academy and Leadership Franklin County. Enjoy a book reading, crafts and snack during one of three sessions beginning at 5 p.m.
Children can also drop off their stuffed animals at the library on Friday for the annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover (reservations required).
On Saturday, the library will present a free back-to-back showing of Disney’s “Frozen” and “Frozen II,” beginning at 10:30 a.m.
“Growing steadily over the past 20-plus years, IceFest brings upwards of 20,000 people to Franklin County,” said Janet Pollard, tourism director of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau. “It comes at such a great time, too. Just when the fun of the holidays are starting to wear off, it breaks up the long stretch of winter and helps keep Franklin County top-of-mind for regional visitors.”
Food vendors and food trucks will be set up throughout the festival, including: Bricker’s French Fries, Shorty’s Funnel Cakes, Hanson’s Kettle Korn, Shuman’s Concessions and Hillbilly’s Jerky. Many more vendors will be set up along Lincoln Way East and Main Street for the Food Truck Event on Saturday, and food vendors will set up in the parking lot on North Main Street, near Chambers’ Fort Park, on Sunday.
A hot wing-eating contest, hot pepper-eating contest and chili cookoff on Saturday will give foodies something to taste and an outdoor Beer Garden for those ages 21 and older will be available.
Dance the night away from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the annual Snowfall Ball at the Central Presbyterian Fellowship Hall (40 Lincoln Way East).
Other events to round out the festivities include a scavenger hunt and a chance to burn off those calories in the Run Your Ice Off 5K on Sunday.
“IceFest, a 20-plus year event in downtown Chambersburg, has not only allowed the community to spend time together and to grow together, but also provided needed sales to small businesses in our downtown,” said Sam Thrush, president of DCI Inc. “We cannot do IceFest without the support of M&T Bank and our hundreds of sponsors, volunteer leaders, supporters and encouragers. Because of IceFest, our businesses can have the sales that are needed to start their year out right.”
Don’t miss out on the many festival-related sales that will be held at Chambersburg’s specialty shops in conjunction with the winter event.
Business owners are especially looking forward to this weekend’s celebration and welcoming guests to see what they have to offer.
“IceFest is an important event for our community, it raises money for important programs, brings commerce to our downtown and has become a tradition of life in Chambersburg,” said Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill.
The festivities will run through Sunday, Jan. 29, throughout downtown Chambersburg, and most activities are free.
For a complete schedule of events and IceFest features, visit: www.icefestpa.com.