IceFest was started eleven years ago by a group of volunteers in the community, displaying ice works and other unique winteresque activities in an attempt to shake the mid-winter blues and entice folks to come out of their hibernation and enjoy some good, community fun. Since its founding, this group get together has grown into a large, widely anticipated annual community event that many major businesses have gotten into as well. Support and coordination comes from the Borough, Downtown Chambersburg, Inc., the Council for the Arts, the Downtown Business Council as well as IceFest Committee members. For the past seven years, M&T Bank has been proudly sponsoring the event.
During its four-day run, IceFest will send pleasant chills of delight to its visitors with an array of activities and specially scheduled events. On opening day, come out for the official ribbon cutting and kickoff ceremony which includes the cutting of the IceFest cake. Also, live on Thursday and Friday night, DiMartino ice carvers will be on-site creating amazing sculptures and even ice thrones (children are welcome to sit in for photos). Frosty Friday fun will embrace ongoing daily activities, art events, and children's activities including IceSlide—a 40 ft. sliding slope made of pure ice and free of charge! But by evening, the ice will glitter at the annual Snowfall Ball. This year, heat up with the Tango at the Ballroom Dancing Workshop led by instructors Frank and Maureen Hancock, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Then head to the Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and take in much more than a slip and slide! The dance will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 40 Lincoln Way West.
Saturday is a busy day at IceFest, starting with a nice, hearty pancake breakfast served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, in the parish hall, at 58 S. Second Street. Warm up with ongoing artsy events all day long, including workshops and demonstrations by artists including paintings, prints and the 6th Annual ArtFest at IceFest in which regional artists will be on site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. creating works of art to be auctioned later in the day. If you like frosting more than frost, then consider the World Class Cake Decorators Competition at Capitol Theatre Wood Center. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., amateurs and professionals alike are invited to enter their own creatively carved and stacked cakes representing this year's theme of Children's Literature. Do you have the nerve to brave the weather and go for a little swim? Then join in the Polar Dunk Plunge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Courthouse Plaza. Donations will benefit the Leadership Franklin County Scholarship Program. A dip in the water may leave you chilly, so heat up with the 10th Annual Chili Cookoff, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Dr. Paul Orange of Dr. Orange’s Famous HOT Chili, amateurs and professionals alike will spice up the ice with their finest concoctions and vie for cash prizes and the title of the BEST CHILI in the region. Still not hot enough? Then stick around for the Annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest at 1:30 p.m. Whoever eats the most pepper will also walk away with $25.
Other amusing sights and sounds will fill the day including live entertainment. Throughout the day on Saturday, come see selected excerpts of Swan Lake Fantasy, from the Chambersburg Ballet Theatre plus Jazz ballet “Strauss” at Capitol Theatre. Also, enjoy Duo Claritare as clarinetist Mike Hoover and guitarist Candic Mowbray play at On What Grounds on Lincoln Way East. Then light up the night in the ultimate spectacle—a Fireworks Extravaganza starting at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the fireworks, the doors will be closed for final voting for the World Class Cake Decorators Competition. Be sure to return following the fireworks for free cake which will be served to the public for everyone to enjoy.
The winter wonders will continue when the day opens on Sunday with a Scavenger Hunt beginning at noon and lasting through 3 p.m. Kids, come join in this quest up and down Main Street searching out the clues that will help you answer the questions on your list! Answer all of the questions correctly and you will be put into a drawing for great prizes! Drawings range for two age group divisions—those ages 11 and under and older children ages 12 to 18. Forms must be completed and turned into the registration table by 2:45p.m., and drawings will take place at 3 p.m. But if you don't want to go on a hunt for adventure, just take a stroll with the Chambersburg Evening Lions Club for the Downtown StoryWalk®. Meet at Coyle Free Library and stroll downtown while enjoying the children’s book, The Berenstain Bears, which will have pages up in the various store windows. Strolling times will be at 1 p.m. and then again at 2:30 p.m.
Throughout all of IceFest, ongoing activities for children will be available in addition to fine vendor shopping for adults, and of course, wholesome family fun to take the chill out of winter. Refreshments including hot chocolate, s'mores and more will be provided by various sponsors throughout the course of the event. To find out more about all the cool happenings at this year's IceFest, visit www.icefestpa.com.