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Published: Tuesday, 2/26/2013

Professional ice carvers heat up Winterfest

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Siblings Reed, 4, left, Claire, 6, center, and Bridgette Gerken, 4, right, take a closer look at Stella's & Swig's ice carving Saturday morning during Winterfest 2013 in downtown Perrysburg. The festival featured ice sculptures, carving contests, face painting and food.
Siblings Reed, 4, left, Claire, 6, center, and Bridgette Gerken, 4, right, take a closer look at Stella's & Swig's ice carving Saturday morning during Winterfest 2013 in downtown Perrysburg. The festival featured ice sculptures, carving contests, face painting and food.
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Professional carvers sculpting blocks of ice is a highlight of the downtown Perryburg Winterfest weekend festival.

"The biggest thing for us Saturday is the National Ice Carving competition," said Rob Brunner, president of Downtown Perrysburg Inc., which sponsors the event."They [competitors] come from all around the region." 

PHOTO GALLERY: Winterfest 2013 in Perrysburg

All carvers, amateurs and professionals, were given a "filing cabinet sized," block of ice according to Mr. Brunner. They were roughly 40 inches tall and 18 wide before being sculpted into different pieces of art. The professional carving competition will give the contestants a chance to win up to $4,000 in prize money.

"When they are on the spot and have a time limit it is really neat to see some of the things they can do," Mr. Brunner said of the professional carvers.

Heated tents also gave families a place to go and warm up while children could do crafts and face-paintings among other activities. Those same tents made up the Micro Brew Tasting Friday night and the wine tasting Saturday night.

"Our main goal is to bring families and kids downtown and have fun for free," Mr. Brunner said. "We try to fund the kids stuff with the beer tent and those things."

The beer tent and wine tasting both sold out. Mr. Brunner said it will easily cost $50,000 to put the event on which is helped through sponsors. He said they will try to break even, but if they make a profit, the non-profitable organization will put the money toward summer family events.



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