Despite rain, Hunter Ice Festival begins Friday evening with ‘Fire and Ice’ show

Published 6:56 am Saturday, January 13, 2007

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The main ingredients were propane flamethrowers, smoke machines, chainsaws and, of course, ice.
The result? A half-hour classic rock-fueled ice-carving duo, courtesy of Dan Rebholz and Rich Bubin.
"Let the ice festival begin!" Rebholz howled, arms raised in front of a hollow tower of ice with a blazing fire growing inside.
The 3rd Annual Hunter Ice Festival got a jump-start Friday night with the "Fire and Ice" live performance ice sculpting show at the north end of Riverfront Park.
More than 100 people crammed around the oval carving grounds to witness the display.
Rebholz, owner of World Class Ice Sculpture of Chicago, and Bubin, head of Ice Creations in Pittsburgh, transformed rectangular blocks of ice into a royal thrown, tankard drinking mugs and halos. All the while performing engulfed in smoke and with only the light of a few large flashlights.
Each of the National Ice Carving Association (NICA) international champions also played a solo on their carved ice guitar, while "Light My Fire" and "Ring of Fire" came blasting from nearby speakers. Afterwards, children climbed up on the large ice thrown for pictures alongside the carvers, and pageant queens posed in front of the burning, melting tower.
The Hunter Ice Festival continues today throughout downtown Niles. More ice carvers will hit the streets, chainsaws in hand, starting at 9 a.m.