Daily News photo/AARON MUELLER. The interactive ice park was one of the more popular attractions at last weekend’s Hunter Ice Festival. People could play ice pingpong, air hockey or bowling.

Niles ice festival attracts 10,000

Published 8:29pm Monday, January 16, 2012

The Hauch family, of Niles, bought some Hunter Ice Cream Monday served from a table made of ice near Main Street.
“The weather is just perfect, and the ice cream is great,” said Jacki Hauch.
This is the first year Hunter Ice Cream was sold on the Monday after Hunter Ice Festival.
Lucy McCauslin, a member of the Main Street promotions committee, said about 100 gallons of the ice cream were sold during the festival.
McCauslin said Penn State University scientists created the ice cream recipe special for Niles Main Street. The recipe is modeled off one used by the Hunter family in 1900. It is only sold during the festival.
Nearly a foot of snow didn’t stop thousands of people from coming to downtown Niles for the annual festival.
Lisa Croteau, Niles DDA Main Street program manager, estimates between 10,000 and 12,000 people came to the event held over the weekend.
“It seemed to be a success from everything I’ve seen and heard,” Croteau said.
Attendance was down from the 15,000 to 17,000 people who came a year ago. Croteau attributes the drop in attendance to the snowfall Thursday and Friday and the absence of the Food Network at the event.
“People were very curious about the Food Network last year, so, without that hook, a 10 percent drop isn’t too bad,” Croteau said.
Friday saw the biggest hit in attendance, while on Saturday people were slow to make it to the festival.

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