Dowagiac businesses support 26th annual Ice Time Festival

Published 12:23 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Veteran ice carvers will be among those returning to the Dowagiac Ice Time Festival on Saturday, February 4, as the community’s winter festival marks its 26th year.

The day after a volunteer crew from US Lumber moves the 300 pound ice blocks into place, carvers will meet before daylight to start carving on the street. A vast array of power tools get cranked up, no matter the weather or temperature, and art will be created. 

“Mike Evans, from Edwardsburg, has been carving ice at our festival since the beginning and is this year’s head carver,” said Kris Soenen, festival chairperson and president of the Chamber of Commerce. “The carvers like the challenge of creating sculptures from a medium that might not be around long, and that presents its own challenges depending on the outside temperature, and amount of sun. For clarity of ice, overcast is good.” 

Twenty corporate sponsors joined with the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the festival’s host organization, to put on this year’s event.

Single block ice sponsors include Ascension Borgess Hospital, The Baker’s Rhapsody, Cass County Council on Aging, Creative Foam, Cross Excavating, Deck the Halls, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Eckman Chiropractic, Hale’s Hardware and Harding’s Friendly Market. 

Also sponsoring single-block sculptures will be LADD, Mennel Milling Co. of Michigan, Olympia Books, Preferred Printing, Rosy Tomorrows,, Symonds Machine, True’s Towing, Vincent J. Jewelers, and Vylonis Contracting. 

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

Ice carving begins early in the morning. Outdoor winter activities for families are featured throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m., and participating specialty shops will host Out of Hibernation Sales.

Children’s crafts and activities will be hosted by Bow Wow Bakery and Bath, Dowagiac History Museum, Dowagiac Library, Salted Words, Venue 132, and Caruso’s Candy and Soda Shop.

The Chili Crawl, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes the following participating restaurants:  Oak & Ash BBQ, The Baker’s Rhapsody, Cass County Council on Aging/Front Street Crossing, The Eagles Lodge, Woodfire Trattoria and the Wounded Minnow Saloon.

For a full schedule of events visit and its Facebook page.