Volunteers Help Make IceFest a Reality

IMG_39491IceFest 2016 kicks off this Thursday, January 28 and lasts through Sunday. The IceFest Steering Committee has been meeting since June last year to plan downtown Chambersburg's largest annual winter event. IceFest is coordinated by three organizations - Council for the Arts, Downtown Business Council and Downtown Chambersburg Inc. - which all draw on their respective volunteer resources to make IceFest a reality.

Between planning, logistics and event coordination, IceFest uses more than 100 volunteers throughout the four-day festival. Many organizations donate materials, supplies and skills. For example, Nitterhouse Masonry provides the cement blocks used for the single sculptures. Chambersburg Waste Paper Company provides a forklift and driver to move the blocks of ice to construct the giant sculptures up and down Main Street. Frank B. Lesher Electric installs the spotlighting for the giant sculptures. Holiday Inn Express and Country Inn and Suites provide free lodging to the ice sculptors from DiMartino Ice.

IMG_6608Many people may not know it, but each concrete block that holds a sculpture needs to be leveled and prepared, which requires more volunteer resources braving the bitter cold to prepare the blocks. Before the blocks are prepared, they must be distributed along Main Street. Fifteen students from Manito Alternative High School assist with this task. Manito students also help with moving ice, building ice walls and doing any other task that is asked of them for three days.

Groups like the Chambersburg Area Senior High School lacrosse team will help with managing trash at the event. And many folks from the community have signed-up to help man the Double-wide Ice Slide, including volunteers from the 11/30 Network young professionals group.

Other volunteers assist with the various events, including Icing on the Cake, Snowfall Ball, Chili Cook-Off, Polar Dunk Plunge, Scavenger Hunt and more. Volunteers involved in all of these events help with securing sponsorships, marketing, event coordination, volunteer recruitment, set-up and break-down. This year also features the first Run Your Ice Off 5k and Fun Zone coordinated by a group of Leadership Franklin County Community students. Wilson College Student Athletes are helping with the 5k, and members of the Shippensburg University football team volunteering for the Fun Zone. Frozen Flicks, another new event started last year, will be run by volunteers from Wilson College Alumni, Students, Faculty and Staff.

IceFest is truly a community event that brings people to the heart of Chambersburg, behind the scenes and on the street. Thanks to all of our volunteers. We look forward to seeing you downtown!

For a detailed event schedule, visit www.icefestpa.com.