Hunter Ice Festival schedule

The Hunter Ice Festival kicks off this weekend in Niles.

The Hunter Ice Festival kicks off this weekend in Niles.

From a dragon to a castle to a knight on horseback, this year’s Hunter Ice Festival is taking on a medieval theme.

But you don’t have to be a king or a queen to enjoy the many ice sculptures and family-friendly activities during downtown Niles’ largest winter event, today through Sunday.

The free festival, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, pays homage to the Hunter Brothers Ice company, which harvested and sold ice using frozen water from nearby Barron Lake in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Highlights include the ice fights Friday and Saturday evenings when professionals compete in a timed ice-carving competition at the Riverfront Park Amphitheater.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:

Friday, Jan. 22

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — The Niles History Center will present “Michigan’s Mighty Mastadons” and ‘From Hunter Ice to Tyler Refrigeration: Keeping Cool in Niles.”

• 4 to 8 p.m. — Psi Iota Xi will host family craft activities at a warming center located at 219 North Front St.

• 5 to 8 p.m. — The Hunter Ice Cream booth will be open on the south side of Main Street, between Front and Second streets.

• 5 p.m. — Sponsored sculptures will be placed throughout downtown.

• 7:30 p.m. — Ice fights will begin around this time at the Amphitheater at Riverfront Park.

 

Saturday, Jan. 23

• All day: An interactive park will be available between Fourth and Third streets.

• 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Wesley United Methodist Church will host a book and bake sale at 302 Cedar St.

• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Multi-block sculptures will be carved live throughout downtown.

• 10 a.m. — Bloody Mary brunch with Jim’s Smokin’ Cafe at The Brass Eye.

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — The Niles History Center will present “Michigan’s Mighty Mastadons” and ‘From Hunter Ice to Tyler Refrigeration: Keeping Cool in Niles.”

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — The Niles District Library invites everyone to stop in and warm up with free cocoa and cookies. The Niles Community Non-Traditional Art Show will be exhibited for viewing.

• 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Psi Iota Xi will host family craft activities at a warming center located at 219 North Front St.

• 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. — The Hunter Ice Cream booth will be open on the south side of Main Street, between Front and Second streets.

• 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — A Casperson Books will have a book sale for the DDA Main Street at 603 N. Second St.

• Noon to 3 p.m. — Chemical Bank will host a warming center and sleigh rides at 407 E. Main St. Tickets are required.

• Noon to 4 p.m. — Pizza Transit, located at 215 E. Main St., will offer crafts.

• Noon to 4 p.m. — Children’s activities will be offered on the south side of the 400 block of Main St.

• 1 to 3 p.m. — The Pregnancy Care Center of Niles will host the annual Baby Cakes cupcake contest and fundraiser at the Bell Building, at the corner of Fourth and Sycamore streets.

• 3 to 7 p.m. — Massimo’s Backside Bar will host beer and wine tasting.

• 7:30 p.m. — Ice fights will begin around this time at the Amphitheater at Riverfront Park.

 

Sunday, Jan. 24

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Psi Iota Xi will host family craft activities at a warming center located at 219 North Front St.

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — The Hunter Ice Cream booth will be open on the south side of Main Street, between Front and Second streets.

• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — A Casperson Books will have a book sale for the DDA Main Street at 603 N. Second St.

• Noon to 3 p.m. — The Niles History Center will present “Michigan’s Mighty Mastadons” and ‘From Hunter Ice to Tyler Refrigeration: Keeping Cool in Niles.”

• Noon to 3 p.m. — Children’s activities will be offered on the south side of the Amphitheater in Riverfront Park.

• Noon to 3 p.m. — Tickets for the chili crawl/chili cook-off will be available at the Warming Center and Hunter Ice Cream booth.

• 4 p.m. — People’s choice awards will be chosen at the Psi Iota Xi Warming Center at 217 N. Front St.

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