Veteran ice carver to return to Dowagiac Ice Time

Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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DOWAGIAC – A veteran 61-year ice carver will be among those returning to Dowagiac Ice Time on Saturday, Feb. 5, as the community’s winter arts festival marks its 25th year.

Twenty-eight corporate underwriters have joined hands with the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, festival host, to put on this year’s event.

“Our lead carver, Alfredo Arroyo, who has been with us since the beginning, has 61 years’ experience in ice carving,” said Kris Soenen, festival chairperson and president of the chamber of commerce, who owns Who Knew? Consignment.  “Arroyo, who is a previous award winner, will be joined by ice carvers Mike Evans and Howard Busfield.”

Lining Front Street will be the single-block ice sculptures sponsored by Ascension Borgess Hospital, The Baker’s Rhapsody, Cass County Council on Aging, Creative Foam, Deck the Halls, Deerpath Recyclers, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Eckman Chiropractic, Farm Bureau Insurance, Hale’s Hardware and Harding’s Friendly Market.

Also sponsoring the single-block sculptures will be LADD, The Marshall Shoppe, Mennel Milling Co. of Michigan, Olympia Books, Preferred Printing, Symonds Machine, True’s Towing, Vincent J. Jewelers, John A. Vylonis Custom Building, Wounded Minnow Saloon and Yarn on Front.

Corporate underwriters of the festival are Dowagiac Credit Union, Dowsett Chiropractic, Garage Doors Plus More, 1st Source Bank, Lyons Industries and Who Knew? Consignment.

Outdoor winter activities for families are featured throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m., as participating specialty shops host Out of Hibernation Sales.

Frosty Human Foosball on Commercial Street runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with tournament action beginning at 1 p.m.  The Frozen Fish Toss, which is another activity that’s as much fun to watch as it is to participate in, begins at noon on Beeson Street.

Children can make a penguin craft to take home with them at Venue 132 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a Valentine’s craft at the Dowagiac Area History Museum from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Also from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the Snowperson Build and hot chocolate at the Dowagiac District Library Pavilion on Main Street.

Those with a sweet tooth will want to pick up Girl Scout cookies from the booth at Front Street Crossing / COA from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.; enjoy a S’mores at the Hot Spot Bonfire on Commercial Street, hosted by the City’s Department of Public Services; and enter the Ice Cream Eating Contest at Caruso’s, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The annual Chili Crawl is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participating locations include The Baker’s Rhapsody, Front Street Crossing / COA, The Eagles, Wood Fire Italian Trattoria and Wounded Minnow.  A snow shuttle, provided by Heritage Southwest ISD, will take families from the downtown to the library pavilion, the museum and to The Eagles.

While shopping the Out of Hibernation Sales at downtown specialty shops, families can also enter the Snowflake Search to win a $50 Universal Dowagiac Gift Certificate.

For a full list of activities, visit and its Facebook page.