5 cool things to check out at Plymouth Ice Festival – Hometownlife.com


Some 52 tons of ice has blanketed downtown Plymouth and event planners for the 37th annual Plymouth Ice Festival, couldn’t be happier.

Beginning Wednesday, more than 300 specially created crystal clear ice blocks have been sawed, shaved and shaped into more than 100 ice carvings that are on display in Kellogg Park and throughout downtown. And many more will meet highly trained ice carvers’ fate this weekend in contests and live demonstrations.

While there are plenty of family-friendly activities all three days and a warming area at the Gathering Place across from Kellogg next to the Penn Theatre, these five things are a sure-fire way to get your ice on:

1. Dueling Chainsaws –  7 p.m. Saturday. Event coordinator James Gietzen has been busy recruiting top carvers all week for this popular competition, in which carvers are given 15 minutes, one block and their chainsaws to create some amazing works of art as you watch. The audience gets to choose the subject of the carvings and then vote on the best by applause.

2. E.G. Nick’s – Evenings during the festival. Really, this is the adult place to be as co-owner Frank Augostini said his establishment will have a “ski lodge feel” with an outdoor bar carved out of even more ice blocks and a huge tent on Forest Avenue just outside its back door. The ice bar will feature Stoli Vodka specialties, while the tent will feature live music with Smoke and Mirrors and Power Play Detroit. If you are feeling adventurous, give the shot ski a try.

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3. DTE Energy Foundation Tubing Run. OK, it may not be the Olympic Park bobsled run, but it is more than 100 feet of screaming fast fun. The tube run is located on Ann Arbor Trail, between Main and Union, and runs 6-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday.

4. Frozen picture frames. There are a half-dozen or so ice carvings that feature picture frame openings — situated on the Penn Theatre side of Kellogg Park. These carvings provide a perfect setting for a nice romantic selfie during date night or fun family portrait to post on social media. Whatever the occasion — don’t forget to tag @plymouthicefestival on Instagram and Facebook or @plymouthice on Twitter.

5. Cool jazz. Head to the library 2 p.m. Saturday, just a two block walk from Kellogg Park, to warm up to the music of Cynthia Kaay Bennett, accompanied by guitarists Matt LoRusso and Chris Buzzelli.

If you go, dress warm — high temps are forecast to be in the low 30s all three days. Great for ice, but cold on the toes and fingers. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m Friday, with icy fire towers set to be lit at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, go to www.plymouthicefestival.com.

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