18th annual Hunter Ice Festival kicks off in Niles

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:24 AM EST
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NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - The 18th annual Hunter Ice Festival returns to downtown Niles.

Five ice carvers will transform more than 180 blocks of ice into art.

There will be interactive pieces like ice ping pong and corn hole.

“It’s amazing, it’s magic,” said Justin Flagel, vice chair of Niles Main Street. “It’s a block of ice and then a minute later it’s something else. It’s really cool.”

“So to be able to see how these people are taking just a block of ice to a complete sculpture, like the process of Michael Angelo, no one saw how he did the granite, but here we have the chance to be able to see them...It’s also cool because they are unique and they are one of a kind. Once they melt, that’s it. So hopefully it stays, you know, nice and warm and we will be able to enjoy them for a long time. But it’s kind of cool to see these unique, one-of-a-kind sculptures and know that people from across the country are coming to compete and show off...But it’s clear that the data shows that this [event] draws people in and brings them to downtown...Hopefully they are checking out our restaurants and some of the local bars, which I know our member businesses here could use all the visits they can get,” said Selina Guevara, with the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce.

The Frigid 5K will take place Saturday morning.

The Speed Carving competition will take place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

“And then of course there’s just lots of great things in Niles to check out,” Flagel said. “We’ve got great restaurants, great shops [and] a lot of great fun.”

The Hunter Ice Festival runs January 14-16.

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