Winterfest back with ice sculptures, competition

Professional carvers, family activities slated


Winterfest organizers hope thousands of people will choose to chill out in downtown Perrysburg this weekend.

The annual event runs Friday through Sunday and features amateur and professional ice sculpting competitions, roughly 50 ice sculptures displayed downtown, family activities, and sold-out microbrew beer and wine events.

Rick Thielen, executive director of Downtown Perrysburg Inc., said the festival provides an alternative to winter hibernation and an opportunity to get out and do something. He hopes to attract “many thousands” of visitors to the downtown scene, as well as promote the carving competition.

“We really want to emphasize the ice and the sculptures,” Mr. Thielen said.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, visitors can check out dozens of ice sculptures sponsored by organizations and businesses and displayed along downtown sidewalks.

The ice carving contests begin at 10 a.m. Saturday when 14 amateur competitors will turn blocks of ice into artistic creations. Fourteen professional ice carvers will get to work at 2 p.m. Saturday. The sculpting will take place on downtown sidewalks, and carvers will use instruments of all sorts — from chainsaws to small files — to cut ice into precise designs.

Also Saturday, families are invited to bring children downtown from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for crafts, games, entertainment, and snacks.

Award winners for the ice-sculpting contest, an event sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association, will be announced at a Saturday-night wine tasting and food event. Tickets for that event and Friday night’s microbrew beer tasting are sold out. About 550 people are expected at each of the evening events, Mr. Thielen said.

Visitors can help pick sculptures to win people’s choice awards from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The community sculptures will remain on display until the ice melts.

The area forecast shows potential for 1 to 2 inches of snow starting Thursday evening with a possible transition Friday morning to a mix with rain, said Kristen Yeager, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland.

Temperatures on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are expected to be in the upper 30s.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: or 419-724-6065.