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Ice Sculpture Festival set for January 16-17

By
JACKIE KOCH

Neither snow nor cold nor a coronavirus pandemic will prevent the 12th Annual Ice Festival from taking place in downtown Tecumseh – the snow and cold are preferable, but the pandemic could be done without. Regardless, on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16 and 17, ice sculptures will line the city’s downtown sidewalks and professional ice carvers will show off their prowess during demonstrations and a dueling carver competition, bringing a bit of normalcy to the community in the form of a winter celebration.

Rhonda Nowak, the city’s marketing coordinator, has been working to prepare the details for this year’s event. “We have 37 sculptures this year, which is awesome,” she said. Although the two lead carvers for Ice Creations of Napoleon, Ohio, were injured in automobile accidents this year, they have collaborated with their network of ice sculptors to ensure that they can once again share the handiwork of their ice designs, which will be displayed in front of participating businesses.

The carving demonstrations will take place throughout Saturday and the dueling carver competitions will be held Saturday afternoon. “We’re excited for them that they’re able to keep going on,” Nowak said. Ice Creations also supplies the sand sculptures for the city’s Sand in Tecumseh event in the summer, which this year was a self-guided sand sculpture walking tour from mid-August through Labor Day.

A new feature for the Ice Sculpture Festival this year will be six life-sized balloon sculptures, which will be among the ice sculptures. Typically a stilt-walking balloon artist wanders through downtown to make balloon art for people at the festival, but pandemic precautions have necessitated the switch to less personal interaction, so balloon sculptures are a solution for that.

“We’ve had to eliminate some of our interactive things that we’ve done in the past,” said Nowak. “We’re still doing the scavenger hunt like usual, where we’ll have things hidden in glass blocks inside the stores, so people will still be able to do that event.” The hollow blocks will hold different items that will be on a list for scavenger hunt participants to find. Lists will be available at participating businesses, and those who complete the scavenger hunt will have a chance at prizes. A drawing of completed lists will pick two winners, who will each receive a $25 Chamber Check that can be used as cash at any chamber member business.

Another contest will allow attendees to choose their favorite ice sculpture sponsored by a business, by voting on the scavenger hunt form. Boxes to drop off the forms for both the scavenger hunt and the favorite sculpture contest will be located at the main four corners of Chicago Boulevard and Evans Street.

The 12th Annual Ice Sculpture Festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. The festival’s Gold Sponsor is Visit Lenawee, with Silver Sponsors Kirchhoff Automotive and Tecumseh Central Business Association, and Bronze Sponsors TLC Community Credit Union and Premier Bank. For more information, visit downtowntecumseh.com.

Nowak is hoping the festival and its outdoor features will bring people downtown. “It’s just a fun event for people to get out and see,” she said.

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