Ice Time Festival returns to Dowagiac Feb. 4

Published 4:12 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2023

DOWAGIAC – No matter what Mother Nature offers up for weather, the 26th annual Ice Time Festival will take place Saturday, February 4.

Dowagiac’s winter festival, a Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce event, will take place in the central business district, with some activities hosted by businesses in close proximity to downtown. The heart of the festival is the carving of 300 pound blocks of ice by artisans who work from early morning throughout the day creating ice art.

Other outdoor events include a Sled Dog Meet and Greet, Lil Chipper Games, and the ever popular Hot Spot where the Dowagiac Public Safety Department provides a bonfire and s’mores. Festival goers can enter the Frozen Fish Toss Competition, scheduled for noon, which offers goofy fun for participants, as well as some friendly competition.

Attendees can warm up inside at select retailers offering Out of Hibernation specials, and the annual Chili Crawl runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can taste restaurant samples for free and vote for their favorite offering. Participating locations include Oak & Ash BBQ, The Baker’s Rhapsody, The Eagle’s Club, Front Street Crossing / COA, Wood Fire Italian Trattoria and Wounded Minnow Saloon.

A shuttle bus provided by Heritage Southwest Intermediate School District will transport people from downtown to activities hosted by nearby businesses. The Dowagiac Library is offering a Snowy Owl Craft, Salted Words has an artisan market and kid’s craft scheduled, and kids can make a Valentine craft at the Dowagiac History Museum with the newly crowned Miss Dowagiac and Court.

Additional activities include: an ice fishing game at Venue 132 for children, cat adoptions at Bow Wow Bakery and Bath with Hidden Acres, and Caruso’s Candy Kitchen’s Ice Cream Eating Contest at 2:30

“Ice Time is a distinctive event that attracts visitors to Dowagiac from all over Michigan, northern Indiana, and Chicagoland, giving families another reason to find fun in our winter season”, said Kris Soenen, Chamber president and festival chairperson. “And what makes it even more novel for families is that almost all of the activities are free.”

The annual festival has been underwritten, in part, by Dowagiac Credit Union, Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center, 1st Source Bank, Garage Doors Plus More, Lyons Industries and Who Knew? Consignment.

For a detailed schedule of events visit the Chamber’s Facebook page or its website,