The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — The Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival, held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, brings new delights — even more chocolate, art to buy and to make, and a life-size bison in ice. Chocoholics can purchase wristbands that will get them chocolate treats in 13 downtown locations at two separate chocolate festival tours on Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, the Downtown Gallery, part of Bucknell’s Samek Museum, is sponsoring an abstract winter drawing activity for families to coincide with its current exhibit, Abstraction Today, and the Lewisburg Arts Council will hold a silent art auction in the community room at Barnes and Noble. In addition to carving the giant sculpture on site in Hufnagle Park on Friday, First Night Ice Sculptors will carve an ice bison sponsored by Bucknell University in front of the Lewisburg post office.
The weekend is still packed with the events that have come to be part of the ice festival tradition — an a cappella festival at the Campus Theatre and downtown stores open late on Friday. On Saturday, the Sunset Rotary brings the Frosty 5K at 10 a.m., children’s winter games in the park and the Frosty Kettle Chili Cook-Off. Lewisburg Lions will hold its annual pancake breakfast Saturday morning. Bucknell’s Office of Civic Engagement works hard so the Polar Bear Plunge can take place at 2 p.m. at the St. George Street landing with on-site registration starting at 12:30 p.m. The giant ice sculpture in Hufnagle Park is purchased for the community from the proceeds of the plunge. The Chocolate Festival Ball will be held as usual at the Lewisburg Hotel and the Cocoa-Fest for children during the same time at the Donald Heiter Community Center. All Chocolate Festival events benefit the Center.
One event, Warm Your Heart — Pets In Need, has been growing in popularity since it began several years ago. Brushstrokes Gallery at 340 Market St., accepts needed items and funds for several of the local shelters and rescues during the entire festival. “People love to do whatever they can to help pets in need,” said Kathy Snyder, organizer of the event. Brushstrokes will also be open on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. to give people more time to drop off their donations.
The Lewisburg Downtown Partnership is sponsoring the Wizard of Oz, the original film digitally-remastered, on the big screen for the first time in decades at the Campus Theatre on Saturday at 4 p.m. Admission is free, but movie-goers are asked to consider the donation of new gloves, hats or socks to benefit the Clothes Sharing Program, a service of the Union County Food Bank.
“One of my favorite things about the ice festival is the way so many businesses and organizations come together to participate in the event,” said Linda Sterling, executive director of the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, which organizes the event. The Union County Emergency squad, volunteers its services at the Polar Bear Plunge to make sure the event participants stay safe. The squad is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2014. It is an all-volunteer department specializing in swift water rescue that serves the community in a variety of ways, including traffic control and basement pumping when needed. Each member is state-certified in all aspects of water rescue including awareness, emergency response and rescue, emergency boat operations and rescue, ice rescue, and advance line rescue. The William Cameron Ambulance Association also volunteers its services by providing a stand-by ambulance at the event.
For more information on these events, go to www.lewisburgpa.com or call the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership at (570) 523-1743. The Lewisburg Downtown Partnership works to make sure that downtown remains the heart and soul of Lewisburg.