Underwood announces $302,920 for CERT training

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, February 2, 2006

By Staff
DOWAGIAC - Some of Michiana's top culinary chefs and award-winning ice carvers will return to Dowagiac for this Saturday's 10th-annual Ice Time Festival of the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, which offers families a chance to take home a work of art produced by an on-site timber carver or a memento of one of this city's public works of art.
Seven culinary chefs, three of whom have dominated the field of awards since 2001, will compete in the winter arts festival's professional ice carving competition, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Beckwith Park in downtown Dowagiac, as they compete for $1,200 in cash prizes and $1,880 in per diems.
According to Vickie Phillipson, program director of the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority, this year's top carver, selected by nationally-renowned artist and sculptor John Mishler of Goshen, Ind., will take home a cash award of $600, with second-place receiving $400 and third-place receiving $200.
The Dowagiac Ice Time Festival is underwritten, in part, by a $2,100 fine arts mini-grant from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo through the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Returning to the festival for his 10th year is Andrew Thistlethwaite, executive chef for Elcona Country Club in Bristol, Ind., who will carve the show's multi-block ice sculpture at the Beckwith Park. The showcase sculpture, which will weigh in at 2,200-pounds of ice, is sponsored by Harding's Friendly Market. Thistlethwaite ranked third-place in the competition in both 2003 and 2004.
Thistlethwaite and fellow members of the South Bend Chapter of the American Culinary Federation will begin carving the ice sculptures at 8 a.m. Saturday. The professional carve-off will be located in and around the Beckwith Park from 1 to 3 p.m., with judging slated for 3 p.m.
More than 20,000 pounds of ice will be transported to the downtown from a Chicago ice plant, from which the culinary artists will carve 42 single-block ice sculptures and the showcase multi-block sculpture.
Festival-goers can also view a working timber artist, Lonnie Glines of Harrison, Michigan, who will provide on-site demonstrations from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The chainsaw carver will handcraft two three-foot statues from logs that will be featured in the festival's Silent Art Auction.
The winter arts festival will also present an exhibition by the Fruitbelt Wood Carvers Association, beginning at noon at Apparel Alternatives on Front Street. Unlike the culinary chefs, who will carve the ice sculptures outside, the wood carvers will use very little electrical tools, relying mainly on carving knives and chisels to craft their items.
Throughout the day, families can purchase fresh kettle corn, or sample some of southwestern Michigan's hottest chili during the annual Professional Chili Cook-off. Free samples will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Beeson Street Bar &Grill.
located on Beeson Street; The Eagles, located on Railroad Street; and at
Wood Fire Italian Trattoria and The Wounded Minnow Saloon on Front Street.
For the most daring appetites, Saylor's Front Street Pizzeria will host its
annual HOT!!Buffalo-Wings-Eating Contest at 2 p.m. The contest, which is
sure to bring tears to the eyes of daring competitors, is open free of
charge. Owner Jamie Saylor said people can sign up for the competition that
morning. The event will be staged outside the Front Street pizza shop on
the sidewalk.
Those folks wishing to cool down their taste buds, will want to enter the
ice cream eating contest, hosted by Caruso's Candy Kitchen at 11 a.m.
According to officials at Caruso's, ice cream enthusiasts will attempt to be
the first to devour the legendary Pig's Dinner, which includes four flavors
of ice cream, four toppings, crushed nuts and whipped cream that sit atop a
split banana. If you think your appetite can handle all of that sweetness,
you'll want to sign up for the competition that morning at Caruso's. The
event will be staged on the Front Street sidewalk, outside of the business.
Youngsters will also enjoy building miniature “snow” sculptures from
marshmallows at the Beckwith Park, beginning at 1 p.m. The children's
interactive workshop is a free activity, hosted by the Miss Dowagiac
Scholarship Pageant of the Chamber of Commerce.
Festival-goers are invited to enter a creation made at home in the Ice Art
Competition that will be judged at noon at The Wren's Nest on Front Street.
Participants can freeze something colorful at home in a unique-shaped
container and bring it with them to the festival. The winning entry will be
judged on originality, shape and color.
Prizes for the Ice Art Competition are being provided by McDonald's
Restaurant of Dowagiac and the Chamber of Commerce.
Ice Time also features its third-annual Winter Hibernation &Pajama Sale,
which kicks off at 7 a.m. at The Marshall Shoppe. Phillipson said 12 of the
downtown's specialty shops are offering final markdowns on fall and winter
merchandise, with some prices slashed up to 75 percent off. Participating
sites are: Apparel Alternatives, Booth's Country Florist, Chic ‘n Shabby,
Laurie Anne's, Majerek's Hallmark, The Marshall Shoppe, Much Moore for Less
Variety Store, Suite Dreams, Underwood Shoe Store, Vincent J. Jewelers,
Weller Wireless and The Wren's Nest. Some locations require shoppers to
wear their pajamas to receive the best early-morning bargains.
Dowagiac Ice Time 2006 is being coordinated by Event Chairman Dr. Timothy
Dowsett of Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center, with the assistance of Vickie Phillipson, program director of the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority; and members of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
To receive a schedule of events, call the Chamber of Commerce at