On the last Saturday in January Mount Holly’s 18th annual Fire and Ice Winter Festival promises to provide good memories for young and old. This may be the best winter event in the region offering a friendly place to chill out with friends and family. Sample those hot and spicy chili contest entries at Mount Holly’s Relief Fire House or warm up inside the Burlington County College Mount Holly Center while enjoying the multitude of activities inside and out. Last year’s surprise demonstration carving was a 10 foot tall Batman made from 3000 pounds of crystal clear ice which stood watching over the multitude of spectators and carvers crafting their final products throughout the business district. The carvers of that piece, Kevin Gregory and his partner Tony, also competed at the international ice carving competition at the winter Olympics in Vancouver BC. Yes, there will be more surprises this year.
As always the children will enjoy the various activities & animals from Discovery Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo and selected nature centers along with the beautiful rescue dogs from Rescue One. Then there are those exciting and free fire engine rides provided by the Mount Holly Fire District and it’s fine volunteer firemen and women. Maybe those gorgeous Alpacas will be back and don’t forget the teams of sled dogs. No need to pack a lunch but do come ready to eat at one of the many and unique eateries right there were the action is or browse the quaint Mill Race Village of shops all right were the ice carving is happening.
Some of the best ice sculptors East of the Mississippi show up each year to compete in this National Ice Carving Association (NICA) sanctioned event. Last year’s winner, earning a rare NICA Gold Medal, was Rich Daly from Majestic Bay NY, carving an intricate piece called “Under The Sea” depicting a Sting Ray and Turtle seemingly suspended from coral.
Plan to spend the day enjoying this fun filled and free family event providing something to satisfy all the senses on what we hope is a beautiful but cold winter day. The event is rain or shine, held throughout Mount Holly’s downtown business district. Carvers start in staggered groups at 10AM and are finished carving by 3PM with the judges results announced by 4PM. Go to www.fireandicefestival.com anytime to see last year’s results and pictures and information for the upcoming event including registration and vendor inquiries.
Be there January 29, 2011.