St. Joseph embraces winter fun

Published 7:47 am Friday, February 8, 2013

Regional ice carvers will transform blocks of ice into a wintry, outdoor sculpture gallery during the ninth annual Magical Ice Fest, Friday through Sunday, in St. Joseph. Using chainsaws, chisels and Dremels, artists will entertain onlookers as they carve crystal-like creations along downtown streets in this Lake Michigan resort community.

“If you’re feeling cooped up, this festival will quickly cure your cabin fever,” said Jill Stone, executive director, St. Joseph Today. “Whether you are looking for family fun or a romantic getaway, we’ve packed the weekend with memory-making indoor and outdoor activities for all ages.”
The slate of festivities include:

Ice Competitions
All weekend
•   Street Competition, 4 p.m. Friday: Watch carvers create frozen art until dusk.
• Professional Ice Carving Competitions, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Visitors can observe carvers in action or come mid-afternoon through evening each day to photograph their favorite finished masterpieces.
• Ice Wars! New this year, onlookers can cheer for carvers as they compete in 15-minute duels from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday The Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council is the event sponsor.

Fire & Ice Reception
8 p.m. to midnight Friday
Shadowland Ballroom at Silver Beach Center, 333 Broad St., will host this kick-off event for adults, 18 years or older. The evening features music and dancing with the Sprague Brothers, performances by Fire Dancers, cash bar and martini ice luge. $10 cover; free admission for ladies until 9 p.m.

Budweiser’s Black Crown Block Party
All weekend
Bud Distributing will work with participating downtown restaurants to feature drink specials all weekend.
• 6 to 9 p.m., Friday: Local radio stars Zack East and Robin VanDyke will make party appearances at each of the stops.

SnowBiz Scavenger Hunt
All weekend
Visitors are encouraged to stop by the St. Joseph Today Welcome Center, 421 State St., Friday through Sunday, and pick up a copy of the scavenger hunt directions. Contestants will search for logo ice sculptures around town and enter a drawing for a prize package.

Magic Shows
Magician John Dudley will amaze all ages at several downtown locations, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Visit the St. Joseph Today Welcome Center for a list of show times and places.

Waikiki Weekend
All weekend
Silver Beach Carousel, 333 Broad St., will turn its carousel house into a tropical paradise. Visitors will receive aloha greetings as they watch hula dancer demonstrations and ride the decorated carousel figures to surfing music.