Warm temps threaten remnants

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Your Kitchen Connection ice sculpture was still identifiable on Main Street Tuesday afternoon despite its trash bag cover and the above-freezing temperatures. Hopes are temperatures will drop back below freezing soon so the covers can be removed. (Daily Star photo/KATIE ROHMAN)

With the main event officially over, officials with the Hunter Ice Festival are keeping their fingers crossed that winter temperatures will cooperate so citizens and visitors can enjoy the ice sculptures all over town for a little bit longer.

Temperatures rose above freezing by Tuesday morning with rainfall threatening sculptures.

In response, sculptures have been covered in the hopes of keeping them dry, “until (the temperature) drops below freezing again,” said Lisa Croteau, executive director of Niles Downtown Development Authority.

In the past, the city has seen sculptures last up to three or four weeks, Croteau added.

In regard to the festival itself, for an event that claimed the need to scale down due to lack of funding, the attention brought on by a visit from the Food Network to film a new ice carving series was a fortunate development.

“It was a wonderful year,” Croteau said. “I think that — preliminary conversation leads me to believe that more money was spent down here than last.”

And by all accounts, she added, more people braved the temps to attend.

“Food Network was huge for getting people here,” Croteau said.

Aside from the cameras, she said carvers “did some really fun things,” like interacting with and engaging the audiences.

“It was just a fun place to be,” Croteau said.

And as for next year?

“Same or better,” Croteau said.