Who Knew Consignment to host Ice Time craft

DOWAGIAC — Crafty children in the Dowagiac area will have a chance to exercise their skills this weekend during the upcoming Ice Time Festival.

During Saturday’s 23rd annual Ice Time Festival in downtown Dowagiac, Who Knew Consignment, 119 S. Front St., will host a make and take craft for visiting festival-goers. The craft, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free and open to the public.

“At each one of our festivals, here at Who Knew, we host a make and take craft,” said Kris Soenen, owner of Who Knew Consignment. “We invite people to come in and visit our shop. The kids can spend a few minutes creating.”

At present, Soenen is keeping the specifics of what the craft will be under wraps, as she said that keeping the craft a surprise is half the fun.

“That’s kind of the fun for our people,” she said. “We have people that have been doing this since they were toddlers, and we have 10- and 12-year-olds coming back now because they collect [the crafts] from our festivals. So, it’s kind of a fun surprise to see what we are making this time.”

The craft at Who Knew will be one of many events to take place during the Ice Time Festival. During the festival, crafts will be hosted at the Dowagiac District Library, ice carvers will be out making creations, sled dogs will visit downtown and the Miss Dowagiac Court of Honor will frost cookies at the Dowagiac Area History Museum, among other events.

“All of our festivals are special, and each one has its own flavor and impact,” Soenen said. “The Dowagiac Ice Time festival is important because it has an impact commercially during the slowest time of the year. … It is also an event that gets people moving during a time when we are typically hibernating. It’s a way for us to get out and enjoy the season.”

As a business owner, Soenen said she is proud to participate in the Ice Time Festival, saying that she believes promoting local businesses through the festival helps keep the Dowagiac downtown alive.

“The festivals organized and hosted by the chamber [of commerce] are an essential part of commerce in our community,” Soenen said. “It ensures that we are inviting guests from out of town as well as inviting our neighbors to come downtown and see what we have to offer and to shop locally and keep money in our communities so that we have a vibrant community. … It’s important to invest in our community and spend time locally, and [the festival] invites people to do just that.”

Soenen said she would encourage both out of towners and Dowagiac natives to brave the cold Saturday for the Ice Time Festival, adding that they will be able to warm up and make a craft in her shop.

“It’s a great, close festival,” she said. “It’s something different for the winter days. Come out and enjoy.”

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