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Ice is nice this weekend!

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Folks in Chambersburg know how to shake the mid-winter blues. In fact, that was the original objective behind the start of the annual IceFest 12 years ago. Now, with each passing year, this icy invite has been sculpted into a community wintertime tradition.

The freezing fun folly will begin on Jan. 30 and continue on through to Feb. 2., warming the weather for visitors and residents alike over the four-day course. Events will be on-going, giving you a variety of reasons to bundle up and head on downtown. Enjoy live ice carving demonstrations from DiMartino Ice, sit upon a giant ice throne, taste a taste of “snow cake,” dance at the snowfall ball, heat up with chili, take a plunge in the ice and be a part of all the other icy enjoyments!

IceFest 2014 officially kicks off at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the square. Enjoy Prints & Drawings by Penn’s Woods Printmakers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Evening events will continue on through 8 p.m. Thursday eand include live art-ice carving demonstrations and the grand opening of the Ice Slide, always a popular hit with kids, adults and anyone else wanting to take a slip and slide in the ice. Festival food vendors will be on site in the square and M&T Bank is sponsoring a popcorn giveaway. Participating businesses will offer indoor specials and extended hours of operation throughout the event.

On Friday, Jan. 31, IceFest will open at 4 p.m. and run through 8 p.m. Penn Woods Printmakers will again be on display as well as the Emerging Artist Showcase, featuring paintings and multimedia work by more than a dozen local artists. Students at the Chambersburg Area Middle School’s 8th Grade Art Club will also have works on display, at the PA Counseling Services Building, and there will also be a Pop-Up Art Gallery featuring paintings of Pete Mazzone and hand-crafted wood furnishings by Adam Rung Woodworks. The slide will again be open, and vendors will be vending food. M&T will be offering free, complimentary hot chocolate to go along with the popcorn they are giving away. Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center will be making s’mores near Kerrstown Square, on South Main Street, donations going towards summer camp programs. Come enjoy the IceFest reception for “Focal Point” Photographs by Amt and Gregg Morgan at the Council Arts Building. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Central Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall will host a dance workshop with Frank Hancock. Then, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., all the “blizzard” preparations will come into play with the official Snowfall Ball, at the same location.

February 1, may arrive in a frigid fashion, but a hearty all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs, bacon and the works should take the edge off of winter’s chill. Breakfast will be served at the Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Hall from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Adults pay $5 admission and children under 10 pay $2. The 7th annual ArtFest at IceFest will commence at 9 a.m. and continue on through 4 p.m., with regional artists working along King Street to create wonderful works of art to be auctioned off following the conclusion. Proceeds made in the auction will benefit “For the Kids”. Most other events will open at 10 a.m. including the Destiny Rescue Jewelry Sale at Central Presbyterian, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., various art exhibits and showcases, historical exhibits and edible decorating events including Cupcake Decorating With Children, Ice Cube Painting For Children and Cookie Decorating. There will also be a World Class Cake Decorating competition called “Icing on the Cake,” which will be held at the Capitol Theatre Wood Center. Here, amateurs and professionals alike will compete in decorating a carved or stacked cake denoting this year’s theme “A Cake for Any Season,” showcasing their own personal favorite season. The competition will close at 6 p.m. for final judgment and then re-open for free cake.

Another highlight for Saturday includes the annual Chili Cook-Off from 11 to 2 p.m. Make it, try it, you be the judge. Spice up the ice and turn up the heat with a healthy, hearty dose of chili in the chilly weather. If the chili leaves you sweating, cool off with a nice ice-cold swim. Take the plunge with the Polar Dunk Plunge into the frigid waters at 12 p.m. (details TBD) in this annual arctic folly. Heat up again at 1:30 p.m. with a nice Hot Pepper Eating Contest in the North Square Parking Lot. The Chambersburg Ballet Theatre Company will present “Sleeping Beauty: Aurora’s Wedding,” at the historic Capitol Theatre at 2 p.m. and then again at 7 p.m. Throughout the day on Saturday, several other ongoing events will continue on including the complimentary hot chocolate, food vendors on site and s’mores once more! There will also be a grand block party from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the North Square Parking Lot, complete with drinks and live music.

Sunday will start out with a scavenger hunt from noon to 2 p.m. Sponsored by MedExpress, forms to sign up will be available on the South East corner of the Square. Games and giveaways will be given at the 2 p.m. conclusion. Also, don't miss all the other ongoing happenings including Ice Cube painting, Cupcake decorating, Artist Showcases and much more. At 1 p.m., you are invited to join the Chambersburg Evening Lions Club for the ever popular Downtown StoryWalk. Meet at the Coyle Free Library and then walk along downtown while your ears remain entertained by the narration of the children's book The Snow Bear. This story time stroll will encore again at 2:30 p.m. Also, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Franklin County Historical Society will bring you a reception for "Franklin County: People & Places," at the Old Jail.

The many ongoing events throughout the weekend including the ice-related attractions, activities and on-site vendors, will make this ice festival a nice festival, and the coolest happening this weekend. For more information, go to www.icefestpa.com.

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