MEDINA — This weekend’s 19th annual Medina Ice Festival will feature more ice sculptures than ever — about 60.
The festival is one of the city’s biggest attractions, drawing between 20,000 and 25,000 people over four days, said Matt Wiederhold, executive director of Main Street Medina.
“This time of year, people are looking for something fun and interesting to do with the family,” he said.
Visitors can watch ice art being created around Public Square, where the artwork will be on display throughout the weekend.
A new attraction this year will be Visit Orlando — the Florida city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
The display will include two live alligators in a heated tent and ice carvings sponsored by Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World.
Visitors also have a chance to win a $5,000 trip to Orlando.
The festivities begin Friday with three speed-carving contests.
The competition starts at 3:30 p.m., round two will be at 4:30, and the final round to win the contest is at 5:30.
The Fire and Ice Tower will be lit at 6 p.m. A dozen blocks of ice will be stacked high, filled with wood and lit on fire. The tower will stand until it melts, or crumbles.
Main Street Medina will host a wine-tasting on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday at the Medina Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 32 Public Square. Four different wines will be served at $5 a glass.
FirstMerit Bank presents the teamcarving competitions 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and individual carving competitions 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
All works or carved ice art will be on display through Monday afternoon.
The event is sponsored by FirstMerit Bank, Main Street Medina and Elegant Ice Creations.
“The ice festival is consistently voted one of the top and most favorite events in Medina,” said Eric Shaffer, Medina market president for FirstMerit. “We’re honored to step into the lead sponsor position to present the event to the community.
“There are so many positive things going on in our community and on the Square, and FirstMerit wanted to find an additional way to put our community and customers first. We’re thrilled to grow our support in the 19th year of this great event.”
Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.