Plymouth Intl. Ice Sculpture Spectacular
Carving Out Winter’s Wonders
Plymouth’s celebrated Ice Festival is back for its 27th year, making it the oldest ice carving festival in Michigan. It will feature over 100 ice sculptures carved from single pieces — each piece weighing in at over 300 pounds — as well as many multi-block carvings that will require anywhere from five to 100 blocks to complete. All single block sculptures will be carved as the festival runs, while some of the multiple block carvings will be finished ahead of time, since they're so massive they require a forklift to be moved into place.
The festival will run all weekend, from January 23-25, in Kellogg Park, Downtown Plymouth. Sculptures are available for viewing 24 hours a day. Each year, the festival boasts an average attendance of over 500,000 people, making it the largest of its kind in Michigan. In previous years, sculptors have come from as far as Japan to compete. The festival will also play host to local vendors selling gifts and souvenirs in addition to the 24 restaurants that cover the downtown area. People may not realize the scale of this event, since it is conveniently located in our backyard. RDW caught up with Michael Watts, the Executive Director of the Plymouth Ice Festival.
Will there be other countries participating in this year’s Ice Festival besides Japan?
Maybe Canada. It's tough to get more countries involved with the way the economy is right now, but we will have a lot of the best ice sculptors in the country, since this festival is so big.
Which schools will be participating?
We will have carvers and teams from Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Henry Ford Community College, School Craft, University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.
Are the carvings being judged?
Yes, we will have individual and team carving competitions, a lot of the participants are from clubs or culinary arts programs.
Is there an admission fee?
No, this is a non-profit event. We do it as an educational opportunity for students who might want to consider trying ice carving as an art form, and as a way to bring people to Plymouth to give a boost to the local economy and provide a fun, free event for families.
What if someone wanted to try ice carving? Is it limited to students, or can anyone give it a try?
It's open to everyone who has a sincere desire to try ice sculpting, but there is a 25 dollar registration fee to help cover the cost of ice; and you have to have some experience with a chainsaw. We can’t just let anyone come off the street and try it.
What is the best time to get there if you wanted to check out ice carving?
Well, this is an ice carving festival, so we try to have carvers running all the time during daylight hours for people to watch. It really is something to watch a sculpture come to life in front of you. There’s a schedule posted on our Web site (plymouthice.com
). | RDW
Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular • 1/23-25 • Kellogg Park, Plymouth
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