Archived Story

Raffle could save Hunter Ice Festival

Published 5:01pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is this the last year for the Hunter Ice Festival?

Lisa Croteau, of Niles DDA Main Street, said it very well could be.

“If we can’t find a way to make it self-sustaining, it isn’t going to be here next year,” said Croteau of the popular festival, which begins Friday in downtown Niles.

In an effort to keep alive the Hunter Ice Festival, which is in its ninth year, the Rotary Club of Niles-Buchanan is sponsoring a raffle. Each of the 1,000 tickets is selling for $25 each. The winner gets a weekend at the famous Ice Motel in Montreal or a travel voucher from Signal Travel worth $1,607 toward the destination of your choice.

“So if you don’t want to sleep on an ice bed, you can go to Cancun or Disneyland — wherever you want,” she said.

If all 1,000 tickets sell, the city would be well on its way to paying for the cost of next year’s Hunter Ice Festival, approximately $30,000.

Croteau said funding for the festival continues to drop, while the cost of running it goes up. Funding, she said, comes from various sources, including sponsorships and the city’s downtown development authority. The city gave $500 less to the festival this year.

“We have to find a way that ultimately makes this festival able to sustain itself — that’s why we are trying the raffle,” she said. “It’s $25 for a chance to win $1,600. And if you love the festival, it’s a great way to show it’s important to you and that you’d like to keep it.”

The drawing is Sunday.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at various locations downtown throughout the festival.

For more information, visit the festival’s website at

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