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.


Rotarian Walter Swann discusses life, community outreach

Cass County

Three Rivers man sentenced to probation for meth possession

Cass County

Edwardsburg man sentenced to one year for assault

Cass County

Cass County hosting workshop about child abuse prevention

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland revises visitor guidelines

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer asks residents to take COVID-19 precautions, high schools to suspend in-person activities


Cassopolis couple working to get musical nonprofit off the ground

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners approve 911 grant


Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Log: March 29 to April 5

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 723,297 cases, 16,400 deaths

Cass County

Cass County 4-H offering painting program

Berrien County

Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinic to be hosted at Niles-Buchanan YMCA

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer, MDHHS encourage spring break travelers to get tested for COVID-19

Berrien County

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Day taking place next week at LMC campus


Dowagiac District Library hosting poetry contest


Edwardsburg chamber fundraising to donate personalized tumblers to graduating seniors


Niles DDA takes on NODE expenses

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 715,478 cases, 16,327 deaths

Berrien County

Niles man hospitalized after motorcycle, SUV crash


Dowagiac Police Log: April 2-4


State approves Niles social district


Bureau of Land Management to offer wild horses, burros for adoption, sale at Cassopolis event

Berrien County

Law enforcement taking part in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month


Buchanan, Dowagiac receive Tree City U.S.A. recognition