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Family Fun

Downers Grove to host annual Ice Fest

DOWNERS GROVE – The ice sculptures that will adorn downtown Downers Grove during the village's annual Ice Fest arrive long before the sun rises.

Trucks carrying the frozen works of art will reach Main Street at about 4 a.m. Feb. 9, hours before the annual festival's preview night begins.

"It's a process, which is why we get [the sculptures] when no one is on the road," said Erin Venezia, marketing director for the Downtown Downers Grove Management Corp., which sponsors the two-day festival.

Nadeau Ice Sculptures creates the 42 icy designs that will be in front of businesses throughout the downtown business district.

The festival kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9 with an ice-sculpting demonstation at the southeast corner of Main Street and Curtiss Avenue. The fest contines from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10 and features demonstrations at two Main Street locations: near the Main Street Cemetery and at the train station, Venezia said.

"People love them," she said. "They definitely touch them a lot."

Venezia said she's hoping for "that perfect winter day" that is cold enough to keep the sculptures frozen but accompanied by a bright, sunny sky to help attract a large crowd.

Recently, unseasonably warm weather caused the annual Wheaton Ice (Cubed) Fest, originally slated for Jan. 27, to be rescheduled to Feb. 3.

This is the ninth consectutive year that the Downtown Downers Grove Management Corp. has sponsored the event, she said.

"It is extremely well attended," Venezia said. "People definitely look forward to it."

Attendees will see a large assortment of ice sculptures in front of downtown businesses, which proprieters choose from a catalog provided by the Downtown Downers Grove Management Corp.

"We do a picture frame," Venezia said.

Meanwhile, Rocco and Rocco Salon and Day Spa, 5127 Main St., has a kissing booth. Bank Financial, 5140 Main St., will feature a piggy bank sculpture.

Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully's DuPage County Board campaign will display an ice version of the Super Bowl's Lombardi Trophy.

The festival kicks off with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Feb. 10 at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1047 Curtiss St. Admission is $6 for adults and $3.50 for children.

Two Way Street Coffee House – located inside the church – will host an Old Time Barn Dance at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

The Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss St., will hold a Winter Wonderland Celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that will feature crafts, games and movies, as well as a "Frozen" sing-along from 1 to 2 p.m. with characters from the movie. The "Frozen" characters also will walk throughout the downtown area during the festival.


If you go

WHAT: Downers Grove Ice Fest

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10

WHERE: Downtown Downers Grove

COST: Free


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