DCI to once again cure the mid-winter blues with 2023 IceFest celebration

For more than 20 years, thousands of tri-state residents and beyond have marveled at the intricate ice sculptures lining Main Street in downtown Chambersburg during the last weekend in January.

Downtown Chambersburg Inc. along with the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg, and the Council for the Arts will once again kick off its celebrated IceFest on Jan. 26 with more than 100 sculptures and activities for the whole family to cure those mid-winter blues. 

Many thanks to M&T Bank as presenting sponsor for the festivities that will run from Thursday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Jan. 29 throughout downtown Chambersburg, and most activities are free unless otherwise noted. 

There’s nothing like watching master ice carvers of DiMartino Ice Co. of Jeannette, PA fire up the chainsaws and leave a trail of shavings sailing through the air as they chip away at giant blocks of ice.  Participants can sit on the life-size ice thrones fit for a king, sip hot chocolate and take a thrilling ride down the double ice slide.

Another incredible feature of IceFest is the amazing local talent that is highlighted throughout the weekend, such as the Icing on the Cake decorating contest (this year’s theme is “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass), art demonstrations and displays, including a youth art exhibit at the Council for the Arts (103 N. Main St.), the dancers of the Chambersburg Ballet and local singers during A Cappella Unplugged.

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Children in grades K-5 can enjoy cozy time at the Coyle Free Library Conservatory (102 N. Main St.) thanks to a partnership between Shalom Christian Academy and Leadership Franklin County. Enjoy a book reading, crafts and snack during one of three sessions beginning at 5 p.m. Children can also drop off their stuffed animals at the library on Friday for the annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover. They will receive a link that details what their stuffed animals did overnight and a goodie bag when they pick them up Saturday. Also on Saturday, the library will present a free back-to-back showing of Disney’s “Frozen” and “Frozen II,” beginning at 10:30 a.m.

“Growing steadily over the past 20-plus years, IceFest brings upwards of 20,000 people to Franklin County. People of south central Pennsylvania and the quad-state area look forward to IceFest every year. It comes at such a great time, too. Just when the fun of the holidays are starting to wear off, it breaks up the long stretch of winter and helps keep Franklin County top-of-mind for regional visitors.” said Janet Pollard, Tourism Director of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau. 

Be sure to come hungry all to enjoy the many food vendors and food trucks set up throughout the festival, including: Bricker’s French Fries, Shorty’s Funnel Cakes, Hanson’s Kettle Korn, Shuman’s Concessions and Hillbilly’s Jerky. Many more vendors will be set up along Lincoln Way East and Main Street for the Food Truck Event on Saturday, and food vendors will set up in the parking lot on North Main Street, near Chambers’ Fort Park, on Sunday.

Want to turn up the heat? Try your hand in the hot wing-eating contest, hot pepper-eating contest or the chili cookoff on Saturday and cool down with a frosty beverage in the outdoor Beer Garden for those ages 21 and older.

Dance the night away from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the annual Snowfall Ball at the Central Presbyterian Fellowship Hall (40 Lincoln Way East). 

Other events to round out the festivities include a scavenger hunt and a chance to burn off those calories in the Run Your Ice Off 5K on Sunday.

“IceFest, a 20-plus year event in downtown Chambersburg, has not only allowed the community to spend time together and to grow together, but also provided needed sales to small businesses in our downtown. We cannot do IceFest without the support of M&T Bank and our hundreds of sponsors, volunteer leaders, supporters and encouragers. Because of IceFest, our businesses can have the sales that are needed to start their year out right,” Sam Thrush, president of DCI Inc., said.

Don’t miss out on the many festival-related sales that will be held at Chambersburg’s specialty shops in conjunction with the winter event.

Business owners are especially looking forward to this weekend’s celebration and welcoming guests to see what they have to offer.

“Downtown Chambersburg knows how to do events and IceFest is one of its finest. The square comes to life with food and art and the community! It’s a treat to experience and allows us to show off our coffee, hot chocolate and baked goods to plenty of newcomers,” said IceFest fan and owner of Denim Coffee Co. Matt Ramsay.

“Chambersburg’s IceFest is such a big draw for our downtown. Every year, it seems like a huge crowd comes to enjoy the high-energy festival and many spend time in our taproom to warm up after,” said Erin Miskell, vice president of GearHouse Brewing Co. “For GearHouse, any opportunity to participate in downtown Chambersburg events is great. We love talking to customers and friends and introducing ourselves to folks we don’t know yet. IceFest is our favorite local event!”

Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill added, “IceFest is an important event for our community, it raises money for important programs, brings commerce to our downtown and has become a tradition of life in Chambersburg. The borough council is proud to support this event and participate in its success.”

IceFest is also about making lasting memories and connections for many who continue to return each year, and even those new to downtown.

“This event, like so many others downtown, provides an opportunity for connection with family, friends and our community. As our first year downtown during IceFest, we are both excited and honored to be a part of this fun, family event. In just the few short months that we have been downtown, we have experienced an overwhelming amount of love and support from the downtown Chambersburg community, for that we are grateful. We will be offering extended hours during IceFest, so drop by just to say hello and see our space or check out our website for more information about when we will be hosting open paint and permanent jewelry events,” noted Ashley Peters of Hammer & Stain at 31 S. Main St.


For a complete schedule of events and IceFest features, visit: www.icefestpa.com.
For more information on DCI Inc., visit: www.downtownchambersburgpa.com.

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Richard Lee Kissel obituary 1944~2023

Mr. Kissel retired from US Department of Commerce, National Institutes of Science & Technology (NIST) after 31 years of service with the Federal Government.

Mabel V Mooney obituary 1926~2023

Mabel was a homemaker throughout her life. In her free time she enjoyed bowling (in younger years), watching game shows, and playing cards.