Hunter Ice Festival a hit

Niles put on a great Hunter Ice Festival this weekend.

Kudos to Niles Main Street, the countless number of volunteers who helped make it run and the event’s largest ever number of sponsors. You couldn’t go more than a few feet without seeing another ice sculpture on the downtown sidewalks.

Speaking of the sidewalks — they seemed as crowded as ever.

Maybe it was the beautiful weather — well, beautiful for January anyway — that brought out the tourists in droves to downtown Niles.

Maybe it was promotion on various social media websites and media outlets.

Maybe it was the festival’s reputation, which has grown steadily over the last 12 years.

Whatever the reason, we can’t remember the last time downtown Niles was so busy with activity.

It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying all that the festival and downtown Niles has to offer — from the stunning ice sculptures to the interactive children’s areas to the downtown businesses.

At times the sidewalks on either side of the street were elbow to elbow with tourists. There was even traffic congestion in the City of Four Flags.

The station where children could build miniature snowmen seemed to be a big hit, as was sledding down the hill in the vacant lot where the ice ski-ball station was set up.

It was fun to watch people pose for pictures between a pair of finely crafted frozen butterfly wings or watch children as they slid down the ice slide or traded shots across a frozen ping pong table.

The festival’s signature Hunter Ice Cream also seemed to be as popular as ever.

Hopefully all of this activity translated to sales for downtown businesses — one of the main purposes of the event.

Make sure to read Tuesday’s edition of the Niles Daily Star to find out how business owners did over the weekend.

All in all, Niles once again put on a festival it can be proud of. The Hunter Ice Festival is certainly one tradition we hope continues well on into the future.

 

Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.

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