Fire and Ice Festival starts Friday

The inaugural Chesapeake Fire & Ice Festival is slated for this weekend, February 14-16. Unique ice sculpture designs, an ice skating rink, children’s activities and food and drink venues are designed to help residents and visitors get outside for some mid-winter fun.

EASTON — The final ice sculpture tally is in and Discover Easton is ready to kick off the Chesapeake Fire & Ice Festival this weekend, February 14-16. Thanks to the generous support from the local business community, the ice carving professionals from Ice Lab will unveil and carve 41 unique ice sculpture designs during the festival weekend.

The carvers will use over 11 tons of ice to create the art, and visitors are invited to take a free self-guided tour in downtown Easton this weekend.

“We are so excited to work with our partners to bring a unique winter event to the Eastern Shore,” Discover Easton Executive Director Ross Benincasa said. “There are so many great things happening in downtown Easton, and we are excited to showcase our town for the families and visitors that come out this weekend.”

On-site ice carving demos can be viewed on Friday and Saturday. The grand sculpture demo, sponsored by Preston Automotive Group, will be carved out of 3,000 pounds of ice during the Ice Block Party from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday in Thompson Park at 2 S. Washington St.

A carving demo at 10 a.m. on Saturday will open the Country School’s Family Fun Center at 40 S. Harrison St.

Two more ice sculptures will be created beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, in Thompson Park.

To warm things up, a variety of fire artists will perform during the Chesapeake Fire & Ice Festival on Friday and Saturday. Music by Moonlight Blues will open the Friday Ice Block Party’s entertainment stage at 6 p.m. on Friday in front of the Talbot County Courthouse.

At 7 p.m., fire performers from the Pyrophoric Fire Dance Troupe take the stage with a dynamic spectacle of fire poi, hoop, staff, orbs, fire breathing, fire umbrella, LED dancing and more. At 8:30 p.m. they join the carvers in Thompson Park as they put the final touches on the grand sculpture demo with fire bursts and photo-ops.

Cascading Carlos will entertain, teach and demonstrate his fire juggling skills from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Family Fun Center. The center will also include inflatables for kids, arts & crafts, STEM activities, carnival-style games, kettle popcorn, snow cones and hot dogs inside the Waterfowl Building at 40 S. Harrison St.

The Talbot County Free Library invites you to stop by Saturday to enjoy “For Love of Books!” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 100 W. Dover St. Come see the Sparky & Rhonda Show with old-time stories for all ages told with humor and folk music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To add to the winter fun, Discover Easton and Anne Arundel Medical Center invite you to ice skate outdoors in downtown Easton. The synthetic ice rink will be set up across from Town Hall at 13 S. Harrison St. The rink will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. A $5 donation covers skate rental and rink time, and proceeds help fund future Signature Events organized by Discover Easton.

Stews & Brews, another featured event during the festival, brings together craft brewers and local eateries. The chefs compete in a friendly stew and small bite competition to see whose food is the best of the fest. Admission includes beer and stew samples and each small bite can be purchased for $2 or less at the Easton Volunteer Firehouse at 315 Leonard Rieck Drive. Proceeds from ticket sales support the Easton Volunteer Fire Department. Tickets and info can be found at www.eastonbeerfest.com.

“We set out to create a fun cold weather event for the community to enjoy during the quieter winter months,” Discover Easton Marketing and Events Coordinator Jeff Lankford said. “Our sponsors and festival partners have latched on to the idea, which has allowed us to turn this into a true winter festival in year one.”

Easton firefighters will join the ice sculptors at noon on Sunday in Thompson Park to take part in the festival’s finale, the aptly named Ice Breaker event. They will bring down the ice sculptures and smash them to pieces in spectacular fashion. You can follow them around the block as they dismantle all the ice sculptures to close out the festival.

To stay up to date on the festival and additional announcements regarding the weekend, head to www.fireandicefest.com or follow Discover Easton on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DiscoverEaston.

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