Four corner sculptures in ice to weigh 7,200 lbs.Published 10:21am Wednesday, January 20, 2010
In celebration of a new decade and its 15th season, Dowagiac Ice Time Festival this year will debut four new cornerstone sculptures at Front and Commercial streets, which artisans will carve from 7,200 pounds of ice.
Hosted by Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, this community’s winter arts festival is being underwritten, in part, by seven corporate sponsors, which are also funding the creation of the new, centralized quad of life-size art.
Chairing the event is Dr. Timothy Dowsett, owner of Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center, which is also one of the corporate sponsors of the Feb. 6 celebration.
During the festival’s infancy and up until this year, Harding’s Friendly Market sponsored the event’s showcase multi-sculpture located beneath the Haggin-Wimberley Bandstand in Beckwith Park.
“New this year, with the professional ice carving competition requiring additional space at Beckwith Park, we are replacing the one showcase multi-block sculpture with four individual, larger sculptures that will be staged at Front and Commercial streets on each of the four corners,” Dowsett said. “This new quad of sculpture, made from nearly 7,200 pounds of ice, will serve to create two primary focus areas within the downtown.”
The Dowagiac Ice Time Festival, which returns to the central business district on Saturday, Feb. 6, is one of several seasonal events the Chamber of Commerce hosts each year.
Corporate sponsors of the festival are Lyons Industries that leads the way as the top Platinum Sculpture Sponsor.
Corporate donors also include: Dowagiac Area Federal Credit Union and Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center as Gold Sculpture Sponsors, Kemner-Iott Agency of Cass County and Yazel and Clark Funeral Chapel as Silver Sculpture Sponsors and City’s Pure Ice of LaPorte, Ind., and Wal-Mart of Niles as Bronze Sculpture Sponsors.
Competition sculptures will be underwritten by: Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, Dr. Charles Burling and Dr. Jon Gillesby, Eckman Chiropractic Clinic, Family Fare, Preferred Printing, Subway, Wightman and Associates Inc. of Benton Harbor, Who Knew? Consignment and Zeke’s Restaurant.
Business sponsors of the single-block ice carvings that will be situated along Front and Commercial streets are: Booth’s Country Florist and Gifts, Matthew Cripe Dental PC, Dowagiac Area Federal Credit Union, Dowagiac District Library and its Ladies Library Association, Farm Bureau Insurance, Hale’s Hardware, Harding’s Friendly Market, Imperial Furniture, Lyons Industries, The Marshall Shoppe and Jim D’s Body Shop, Mennel Milling Co. of Michigan, Meridian Title Co., Oh My, Southwestern Michigan College, Wounded Minnow Saloon and Yazel and Clark Funeral Chapel.
Businesses that would like to sponsor either a competition or street carving may still do so by contacting the Chamber of Commerce at 782-8212.
Auxiliary festival events feature: the seventh-annual Winter Hibernation Sale and the Ladies Library Association winter book sale, along with the sale of Girl Scout cookies by Troops 738 and 739 of Dowagiac; a timber carving demonstration and Silent Art Auction featuring the sale of a moose and an Indian wearing a headdress, carved from two four-foot logs; and Fruitbelt Wood Carvers’ Exhibition at what organizers are calling Carvers’ Cave, located within the Front Street entrance to Round Oak Restaurant.
Popular events will also feature an outdoor soda fountain, carved from 800 pounds of ice, from which Caruso’s will serve ice cream and what last year became the event’s new “hot spot” on Commercial Street, where the city Department of Public Safety prepared S’mores for festival goers over an open campfire.
Children will enjoy Caruso’s ice cream-eating contest, the miniature snow sculpture workshop with the Miss Dowagiac court and the children’s ice art exhibition held this year at Who Knew? Consignment.
Downtown restaurants will also host the annual professional chili cook-off.
A blacksmith artist, specializing in the design and artistic hand-forging of wrought iron, also joins this year’s line-up on Commercial Street.
To receive a complete schedule of events, call the Chamber of Commerce at (269) 782-8212.