Ice made for hot sales

Published 2:15 pm Friday, January 28, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
A success.
That is what you would have to say about the first annual Hunter Ice Festival, held downtown Niles the weekend of Jan. 14-16.
It not only was a success for the ice carvers blessed with cold weather, which allowed them to make beautiful sculptures of ice. It also was a success in terms of creating quite a lot of business for the downtown area.
According to Lisa Croteau of the Niles Downtown Development Authority about 5,000 people attended the festival, with about 30,000 people driving through the downtown area.
Shelley Dumond of Majerek's Hallmark Reader World said that it was a very busy day. People were coming in to warm up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
The festival also benefited the Niles Art Association gallery. "We had more people in than ever to look at the art and we even were able to sell two pieces of art and get some donations and new members," said Patty Rose, president of the association.
The ice festival helped people become aware of what is downtown, said Bernice Strotter, owner of Sentiments bridal shop.
The vibe that all the business owners got from the crowd was that they were very excited about coming to Niles for the festival. It really got the word out about what the city has to offer. They agree that events like this should become more frequent.