The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 4, 2013

Hundreds turn out for Lewisburg's annual ice festival

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — The air was frigid but feelings were warm Saturday as hundreds smiled, strolled and enjoyed events of the 10th annual Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival.

Despite a steady wind and temperatures in the low 20s, people of all ages filled downtown Lewisburg and Hufnagle Park, seemingly glad just to be out of the house.

“It’s nice fun for the day,” said Jaimie Frey, of Danville, who kept a watchful eye on son Dylan, 3, who enjoyed climbing on top of the ice bear cub statues in front of a very large momma bear sculpture in Hufnagle Park. “We just bundled up and headed out.”

“We wanted some culture, not Coal Region culture today,” said Joe Revenis, of Mount Carmel, there with friend John Spandra, of Elysburg. “There are not too many events like this where we live,” he said, as they admired an Indian ice sculpture in front of Lewisburg Bridal store.

Revenis also had planned to be a polar plunger — “I have the stuff in my car,” he said — but understood shelving the Eighth annual Polar Bear Plunge after seeing the high and fast Susquehanna River.

“I’ve wanted to do it for years, but this is the better choice,” he said of the premiere event’s cancelation. “The river is really high.”

No polar plunge may have put more people at various events.

Market Street buzzed with people like this duo, studying about a dozen crystal-like ice sculptures of everything from flowers to tools to Abe Lincoln to a cannon in front of assorted businesses, which sponsored the art.

Puirseil’s Irish Pub welcomed about 400 people who filed in to taste and vote on 17 offerings of the Sixth annual Frosty Kettle Chili Cook Off, sponsored by the Lewisburg Sunset Rotary and Yuengling.

More than 300 runners and walkers took part in the morning 5K race.

Events continued into the evening with the Chocolate Lover’s Festival at the Lewisburg Hotel.