Chicago sculptor takes first place for ice creation

Published 12:59 pm Monday, January 17, 2005

By By MIKELL FREY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Niles first-ever National Ice Carving Association Sanctioned Timed Competition, which took place during the Hunter Ice Festival weekend on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., was packed full of excitement and beautiful ice sculptures for visitors to Riverfront Park.
The nine carvers who took part in the event were judged out of 100 points on things such as first impression, use of tools, neatness, utilization of their block of ice, artistic creativity, artistic impression, symmetry and technical skill. The three NICA-certified judges included lead judge Mark Scofield from Livonia, Don Miller from Notre Dame, Ind., and John Kartje from Chicago.
Professional carver Dan Rebhols, from Chicago, took home first place in the timed competion, and also grabbed the award for people's choice. Rehbhols is currently ranked third in the nation for ice carving, and received a silver medal by NICA standards for his 82.8-point carving of a butterfly in the timed event.
Rebhols' people's choice ice sculpture was an intricate carving of a piano located at the number two position on Front Street in downtown Niles.
Second place in the the timed event went to the event coordinating chef Andrew Thistlethwaite of Elkhart, Ind., for his carving of a deco ballerina. Thistlethwaite received a silver medal for his 72.66-point sculpture, and received a warm thank you from the Niles DDA Main Street Promotions Committee during the medal ceremony for his efforts at the ice fest.
Bud Lies took third place with his 68.5-point carving of a Native American rowing in a canoe. Lies finished his carving with seconds to go in the competition, utilizing all the time he could to make his design perfect.
Other winners at the competition included Stan Horne, Richard Biggs, Alfredo Arroyo, Greg Beachey, Allen Perry and George Stewart.
Horne took home fourth place with his 60.2-point musical note, Biggs grabbed fifth with his 56.6-point statue of a thinker and Arroyo earned sixth place for his 56.8-point lady with a flute.
Seventh went to Greg Beachey for his 52.4-point book worm on top of an open book, while Perry grabbed eighth with his 49.16-point easel and Stewart finished ninth with his 43.5-point saxophone and theatre faces.
Winners were presented with medals and NICA certificates at the Riverfront Ampitheatre at the conclusion of the timed event by royalty of the 2004 Miss Riverfest and 2005 Miss Buchanan pageants for their award-winning carvings. First, second and third place winners in the timed competition received cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 respectively.