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Carve out block of time for Ice Fest

Eighteen carvers will transform blocks ice inglistening artistic creations during Magical Ice Fest being held Feb. 8 10 2013 St.

Eighteen carvers will transform blocks of ice into glistening artistic creations during the Magical Ice Fest being held Feb. 8 to 10, 2013 in St. Joseph, Mich.

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Updated: March 8, 2013 7:32AM



A winter weekend will heat up into something fun and magical this Friday through Sunday as St. Joseph, Mich. hosts Magical Ice Fest.

Eighteen ice carvers will work their magic, and a magician will perform his kind of magic. To heat things up, hula dancers and fire artists will perform.

But these are just some of the fest’s free special activities. There will also be free movie screenings for a children’s film festival, all in addition to an outstanding children’s museum, art centers, ice rink and charming downtown with unique shopping and dining options that make St. Joseph a nice family destination any winter weekend.

The ice carving kicks off Friday afternoon. Throughout the weekend, carvers will transform big blocks of ice into glistening artistic creations.

“There are several ways to see ice this weekend,” said Jill Stone, executive director of St. Joseph Today.

“The team competition is on Saturday (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST) and the individual competition is on Sunday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST). This is a sanctioned National Ice Carving Association event, so there will be some very talented professional carvers here. And on Saturday we’ll have Ice Wars in the center of downtown.”

The Ice Wars will consist of several rounds of 15-minute head-to-head ice carving duels between different professional carvers from 3 to 5 p.m. CST.

“All weekend visitors can do the SnowBiz Scavenger Hunt,” Stone explained. “There will be 20 logo sculptures around downtown with items frozen inside. Start at the Welcome Center (421 State St.) and pick up a form, then go out and find out what’s inside each sculpture and fill out the form to enter to win a prize.”

St. Joseph’s downtown shops are unique and fun to explore. Some family favorites include: The Toy Company, an outstanding toy store; G&M Variety, an old-fashioned five-and-dime style store that truly has a little of everything; Forever Books; and several ice cream, fudge and candy shops. There are also nice cafes and interesting galleries. Many of the shops and restaurants will have sales and specials this weekend, according to Stone.

Magician John Dudley will have six free performances at various venues around St. Joseph beginning at 10 a.m. CST Saturday.

One of those venues is the Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Blvd., which is also hosting free screenings of the Coastline Children’s Film Festival.

On Saturday, families can start at 9 a.m. CST with favorite shorts targeted to 4- to 8-year-olds from the New York International Children’s Film Festival. This will be followed by Fire and Ice performance artists, then more from the NYICFF, followed by the magician.

A 3 p.m. CST Sunday, the Krasl will show the 1924 silent film version of “Peter Pan” accompanied by a live performance of an original musical score on piano and harp.

One of the other venues for the magician will be at the Silver Beach Carousel where visitors are encouraged to come in and warm up from the icy events at their Waikiki Weekend, featuring a professional hula dance troop with free performances at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. CST Saturday.

Be sure to buy a token ($2 or less) for a ride on the beautiful carousel. On Sunday the building will also offer free tropical crafts and Hula Hoop activities.



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