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IceFest attracts visitors despite melting masterpieces

January 28, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Addyson Bergquist of Greencastle, Pa., sits on a giant ice throne Saturday at IceFest in Chambersburg, Pa.
By Roxann Miller

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Thousands of people packed the streets of downtown Chambersburg on Saturday to admire and photograph the more than 70 ice sculptures on display at IceFest.

But it’s been a tough week for the festival’s main attraction — ice.

First, rain forced Thursday’s carving activities to be postponed. Then, Saturday’s unseasonably warm temperatures disfigured some of the ice masterpieces.

But most of the passers-by seemed unfazed that many of the ice sculptures had lost their original brilliance.

Nicole Cleary and Luke Shearer of Fayetteville, Pa., even turned the ice creations into a guessing game.

“I think it’s the winged horse Pegasus,” Cleary said of one of the carvings. “It doesn’t really bother me (that they are eroding so quickly), but it’s a shame that it’s happening. But it gives you a chance to use you imagination.”

Cleary said IceFest is a nice family event.

“It’s a free event, so even if people can’t afford to come out and go to a lot of different events, they are able to come today and enjoy themselves with their families,” Cleary said.

IceFest, sponsored by the Downtown Business Council, Chambersburg Inc. and the Council for the Arts, started in 2003 as a way to bring shoppers to the downtown area.

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend IceFest, festival chairwoman Penny Shaul said.

Shaul, who owns Here’s Looking at You in downtown Chambersburg, said business was booming Saturday.

Among Saturday’s other IceFest events was Icing On The Cake, presented by the Council for the Arts in the Wood Center at The Capitol Theatre. The theme for the event was “Celebration of a Decade.”

Two student cake decorators, three amateur decorators and 11 professionals competed for prizes ranging from $50 to $250, according to event organizers.

“I think they are really works of art,” said Janet Gordon of Greencastle, Pa. “I can’t even decorate a plain, little cake just for my family. They are really beautiful.”

Jenna Kaczmarek, co-coordinator of Icing on the Cake, said the number of entries doubled to 16 for the second year of the event.

“(The cakes) can have minimal support,” Kaczmarek said. “They are allowed to have some structure, such as PVC pipe or dowel rods, but the majority must be edible cake and the things that are on it must be edible.”

Cheronda Williams of Chambersburg was intrigued by the Elvis-themed cake that spun around and played music. But her daughter, Brieonna Williams, 10, liked the 1960s-themed cake.

“I never realized there was this kind of talent right here,” Cheronda Williams said. “When you watch it on TV, you think, ‘I wish we lived someplace like that to buy cakes like that,’ and now, I know that we do.”

New to IceFest this year was the Polar Dunk Plunge.

Chris Ardinger, director of the Tuscarora School Board, climbed into the dunking booth looking a bit hesitant about someone throwing a ball hard enough to drop him into the cold water.

“Anything for a good cause,” Ardinger said.

Donations for the dunk tank benefited the Boys and Girls Club of Franklin County and IceFest 2012.

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