Annual Ice Festival to be held downtown Rockford January 8

What happens when chainsaw-wielding craftsmen meet giant blocks of ice? Simply magic. And you can get in on the action, Saturday, Jan. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. downtown Rockford. The 2010 festival drew over 6,000 guests, and event planners are working hard to make the second annual bigger, better and packed with free family fun. The festival is being sponsored by area businesses in partnership with the City of Rockford. Grand Rapids-based Ice Sculptures LTD will be providing the ice-carving talent.

Festival activities will include: a giant show-stopping sculpture sponsored by the City and placed in front of the Welcome Center on Squires Street Square; carving demonstrations on the deck of Reds on the River and in front of the Corner Bar; nine holes of miniature golf with each ice hole sponsored by an area business, expanded from three holes last year—and the Food Network will be at the festival filming! New this year: a scavenger hunt throughout downtown encourages participants to find all the ice sculptures and a win prizes. Other new activities this year include: voting for best sculpture and golf hole in the heated pavilion; a best photo contest with uploads to Facebook; an ice sports wall for interactive games; and free hot cocoa in the Pavilion, provided by the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA. Music and entertainment at the dam will be provided by the Rockford Area Arts Council. Area businesses will be offering festival fun and shopping and dining deals. And there will be contests and enter-to-win prizes for Guess the Melt Date and number of objects hidden in ice sculptures.

What better way to enjoy the Michigan winter than to meander along the Rogue River in downtown Rockford and check out the ice-carving demonstrations, try your hand at a little miniature golf, and let your imagination run wild? Plus, the sculptures will remain on exhibit until Mother Nature does away with them—and if you can predict the date, you may just win some fabulous prizes!

For additional information on the Ice Festival, check out

The Ice Festival is free, compliments of many sponsors, including:

• Show Stopper Sculptures—Welcome Center: @The City of Rockford (, Promenade: Trendwell Energy (

• Four-hour carving demonstration (12-4 p.m./Reds deck): Reds on the River (

• Video/voting: Great Lakes Narrowcast (

• Miniature Golf Course: Rockford Downtown Development Authority, Byrne Electric (, Cannonsburg Wood Products (, Drs. Dater & Cadorette (, Green Leaf Supply (, Katerberg VerHage Landscape (, Thousand Oaks (, Valley City Linen (

•Interactive Sports Wall: The Gremel Group (, Glenn Morris & Associates (

• Scavenger Hunt Sculpture: A Charmed Life Nail Salon (, Baskets in the Belfry, Choice One Bank (, Double Take Resale (, Great Northern Trading Co., Herman’s Boy (, JT Stitchery & Frame Shop, Kimberly’s Boutique, Maghielse & Co. Realty (, Meijer (, Rockford Area Arts Council, Rockford Chamber of Commerce (, Rockford D&W Fresh Market (, Sage & Roses, Sylvan Learning Center (, The Corner Bar (, Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA (, Wynalda Litho (

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.