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Ice sculptures and chili bring in the crowds during Chambersburg's IceFest

February 02, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Melissa Forrester gives the thumbs up sign after taking a plunge into a tank of cold water in the Polar Dunk Plunge to benefit Leadership Franklin County at Saturday's IceFest.
By Roxann Miller

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The sidewalks of downtown Chambersburg were so crowded at Saturday’s 11th annual IceFest that people had to wait their turn to pass on the sidewalk.

Carrie Hartman of Chambersburg waited patiently in line to take a photograph of her sons sitting on the giant “Ice Throne,” one of 70 ice sculptures on Main Street.

“They love coming to IceFest,” Hartman said of her sons, Chase Kuykendall and Carter.

Hartman’s parents, Daryl and Doris Hartman, came along on the chilly adventure.

With temperatures in the mid-20s, the family bundled up in winter attire, including hats and mittens, so they could spend as much time outside as possible.

After making a keepsake at the ice throne, the family took a trip to the ice slide to make a memory.

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the four-day winter festival that started Thursday and ends Sunday.

Debbie Kehley of Chambersburg and her sons, Owen Munson, 2, and Conner, 5, stopped to take a few photos with a dinosaur perfectly carved out of ice.

“It’s nice to get out. There’s not much to do in the wintertime,” she said. “It gives everyone an opportunity to get out and walk around downtown, and it gives the shops some business.”

People were admiring and stopping to take photos of the intricate ice masterpieces lining Main Street from King to Washington streets.

There were so many visitors that F&M Trust said it had a difficult time keeping up with the demand for complimentary hot chocolate on Saturday.

A crowd gathered near the courthouse steps to watch the Polar Dunk Plunge sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chambersburg.

Despite wearing a wetsuit, it was difficult not to wince each time Melissa Forrester splashed into the pool of cold water at the bottom of the dunk tank.

The money raised from the dunking booth benefited Leadership Franklin County.

“Yeah, it’s chilly,” said Forrester, who was wrapped in a towel after being dunked four times.

But it’s for a good cause, she said.

“I would do it again,” Forrester said.

She was one of about 30 volunteers who took a turn sitting in the dunking booth for about 10 minutes.

One area that wasn’t cold was the Chili Cook-Off Tent sponsored by Dr. Paul D. Orange.

Before seeing the chili tent, the heat and aroma of spices greeted guests.

Staci Carpenter of Duncannon, Pa., and her high school friend, Kristen Kennedy of Shippensburg, Pa., decided to make the chili cook-off one of their first stops at IceFest.

Admission was $5 to sample chili prepared by each of the contestants.

“Don’t try the chili in the back of the tent,” Carpenter said, referring to Orange’s homemade chili. “We almost died. It was so hot.”

“It was rough. It was like a badge of honor for eating it,” Kennedy joked.

Carpenter and Kennedy liked Manitowoc and another chili maker, but said Orange’s chili was the “most memorable.”

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Chili cook-off contest winners

The following were the winners of the chili cook-off contest on Saturday at IceFest in Chambersburg, Pa.:

Amateur cooks

  • First place — HCR Manorcare
  • Second place — Manitowoc Crane
  • Third place — Adam’s Hanover Counseling


Professional cooks

  • First place — Texas Roadhouse
  • Second place — Fuddruckers
  • Third place — Red Lion Spicy Foods

Also, Tim Evans of Hagerstown won the hot pepper eating contest.

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