PERRYSBURG - The streets of downtown Perrysburg will come alive this weekend with family-fun activities, ice carvings of every imaginative design and two nights of music, great food and your favorite micro brews and wines.
|File photo. Seth Wyse and Kevin Hull of Ice Creations, place one of several ice sculptures on a pedestal in downtown Perrysburg in preparation for last year's Winterfest. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
More than two dozen world champion professional and amateur ice carvers will compete for more than $4,000 of prize money and then display their ice creations. It is a National Ice Carving Association-sanctioned event.
The amateurs will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and compete for three hours using a single block of ice.
The professional carvers will compete at 2 p.m. for four hours and use two blocks of ice.
Each final ice creation will be professionally judged and the results will be announced on Saturday night during the Wine Tasting event by WTOL celebrity Chris Vickers.
Rob Brunner, president of Downtown Perrysburg Inc. and Winterfest Event Chair, will present prize money awards.
Friday evening, 6 to 10, will feature a ticketed Micro Brew Tasting, highlighting 24 specialty craft beers inside a heated enclosed tent located on West Second Street and Louisiana Avenue in downtown Perrysburg. This event is already sold out with more than 550 planning to attend. Music by Richie Rich will be provided and Biaggis will be donating the food. Ice Creations will be conducting an ice carving demonstration to create the winning DPI Facebook ice carving design.
Saturday, during the day, Louisiana Avenue will be transformed into a winter wonderland family fest that will include all sorts of fun activities, crafts, entertainment and performers featuring Chortie the Clown and Cindy Slee. The Perrysburg High School Art Club will be assisting with the children's arts and craft activities within the enclosed heated tent on West Second Street at Louisiana from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Stella's will be providing free hot chocolate, popcorn and other refreshments. Gino's Pizza and Vito's Pizza will be donating pizza.
Saturday night, 6 to 10, hosted by Heidelberg Distributing, will feature more than 30 specialty wines. Like the evening event the night before, the Wine tasting event is sold out with more than 550 planning to attend.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public will have an opportunity to vote their favorite ice carving from the many community sponsored ice sculptures, as well as the ice creations carved by the professional and amateur ice carvers. The "People's Choice Award" will be announced by Facebook on Monday. Thanks to the Prevention Partners Teen Board for their volunteer assistance.
The national ice carving competition is open to the public to witness first-hand the technical and artistic expertise of the professional and amateur ice carvers as they compete.
Returning professional ice carver, Chad Hartson, owner of Ice Creations of Napoleon, will be judging this year's competition. His background is in the culinary arts, and is a past president of the association. Hartson also takes part locally in a Chef's Association and welcomes Owens Community College students into the shop once a semester to give them hands on experience of carving. Consistently placing in the top 10 each time he has competed in the World Championships of Ice carving in Fairbanks, Alaska, he was World Champion in 2005.
In addition to the ice carving competition, there will be nearly 50 ice carvings sponsored by area businesses and organizations that will line both sides of Louisiana Avenue for the public's viewing pleasure. The large ice sculptures at Winterfest are both a source of income and a major attraction.
Community ice carving sponsorships include: Artistic Memorials, Dr. Christopher Clark, McGivern Jewelers, Heels Coaching, City of Perrysburg, Zingo's, Meyer & Bates Associates, Perrysburg Rotary Club, First Federal Bank, Thrivent Financial-Robert Brunner, The Blade-OurTown Perrysburg, Skotynsky Financial Group, Waterhouse Kitchen and Bath Studio, PTC, Stella's/Swig, Historic Perrysburg, Inc., Brodava Salon, Venzel Communications, Casa Barron, Anthony Wayne Animal Hospital, Sentinel-Tribune, Jake Bernard, Gordon Food Service, River Hollow Farms, Mills Hardware, First Presbyterian Church, The Drugs Store of Perrysburg, Welch Publishing, American Rent-All, C&L Sanitation, SignsNow, Heidelberg Distributing, Ed Schmidt of Perrysburg, Critical Business Analysis and Angel & Company.
"The response by the community and our sponsors has been simply overwhelming," said Rick Thielen, Downtown Perrysburg Inc. executive eirector, also emphasizing that DPI has many partners to assist with the family-free events and activities, and all financial support is privately raised, such as the proceeds from Winterfest. "We could not do what we do without the support that we receive over the years to make us the Best Suburban Downtown," added Mr. Thielen. Through the sale of ice sculptures, Downtown Perrysburg Inc. is able to present events like Winterfest, First Friday Series, Family Out-Door Movie Night to mention just a few of the many activities presented by DPI.