Now in its 17th year, Franklin County, Pa.’s IceFest is a sure way to “help shake the mid-winter blues that fall upon us,” organizers say.
The festival kicks off on Jan. 31 and continues through Feb. 3, featuring live ice carvings, a Snowfall Ball, chili cook-off, Polar Dunk Plunge, live glass-blowing demonstrations, and more. Make sure to be in town for the opening ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony on the 31st, the official kick-off to IceFest ’19!
Event highlights include:
A Double-Wide Ice Slide
Kids will love this 40-foot, LED-lighted, double-wide ice slide! You can slide it throughout the event, starting at 5 p.m. on Jan. 31 and ending at 4 p.m. on Feb. 3.
The Snowfall Ball
An annual IceFest weekend tradition, dance the night away during the Snowfall Ball on Feb. 1. The event boasts Swing, Waltz and Rumba instruction from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by the ball dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $12 per person.
At 11 a.m. is the centerpiece of Saturday—the Chili Cook-Off. Amateur and professionals face off for the best chili. Watch out for Dr. Orange’s variety: it’s so hot, it has a disclaimer. Anyone attending the chili cook-off can enter the hot pepper eating contest for a chance to win $100.
Live Ice Carving
Live carving by DiMartino Ice Company is set for Thursday and Friday evening when the giant throne is transformed from clear blocks of ice into the coolest place to have a picture taken.
“It is an amazing transformation done with chainsaws, drills and blowers,” said Janet Pollard, of Explore Franklin County. “Downtown Chambersburg glistens with beautifully lit ice sculptures and twinkling lights fill the trees along the Main Street. It is magical.”
“IceFest is a community event, bringing many organizations and civic groups together to create an experience with something for everyone and guaranteed to be a great moment in Franklin County,” Pollard said.
Be sure to visit the new Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center, located in an 1865 former bank building.
It is a beautiful building and a good place to warm up while checking out destinations in Franklin County. It offers children’s activities, walking tours around the square, and plenty of information about Franklin County. Admission is free.