October 25, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
49°F

Ice festival lights up Medina’s square

The weather conditions will be ideal for this weekend’s 20th annual Medina Ice Festival: Cold.

“We are fortunate to have about perfect weather, mid- to high 20s and cloudy,” Main Street Medina Executive Director Matt Wiederhold said. “If it gets too hot, like the past couple years, the sculptures melt; and if it’s sunny, the sculptures get cloudy. Cloudy skies keep the ice solid and clear.”

“I think turnout will be high this year. It’s always such as huge event that people always look forward to every year. It’s the largest ice-carving event in the state,” he said.

The fire and ice tower is lit Friday night to kick off the 20th annual Medina Ice Festival. (MATTHEW PLATZ / PLATZ IMAGES)

The fire and ice tower is lit Friday night to kick off the 20th annual Medina Ice Festival. (MATTHEW PLATZ / PLATZ IMAGES)

Wiederhold said the festival won’t have anything different this year, but said sponsorships by local businesses are a record high.

The ice-sculpting and speed-carving contests are sponsored by more than 50 area businesses and agencies, as are all of the sculptures lining Public Square.

“By Sunday afternoon, we could have up to 140 ice sculptures on the square,” he said.

All the sculptures lining the sidewalk were carved in advance or on-site by Aaron Costic of Elegant Ice Creations in Broadview Heights.

Costic, a Medina native, has been sculpting for 24 years. He learned the art while attending culinary school.

While studying garde manger — the culinary art of preparing and presenting cold foods in an artful fashion — Costic found ice carving. He said his instructor encouraged his passion and pushed him to compete in contests.

Costic founded the ice festival after a friend inspired him 20 years ago.

His friend, who owned a former restaurant on the square, came from Plymouth, Mich., which also has an annual festival.

“He contacted me and I put it together with Mike Rose of Washington Properties,” Costic said.

While he talked, Costic carved a life-sized motorcycle outside Main Street Cafe, a feat he’s never attempted before.

“This is pretty new. I’ve never done this. (Main Street Cafe owner) Gary (Quesada) told me just do whatever I wanted and he didn’t know what it would be until he came out and saw the drawing on the ice.”

The bike was carved from 10 blocks of ice weighing 3,000 pounds. Costic said children will be able to sit on the bike and have their picture taken.

Schedule of events
Today
• 1 to 8 p.m. — Main Street Medina Wine Tasting, 32 Public Square
• 1 to 4 p.m. — Team-carving competition
• 1 to 4 p.m. — Medina Engine House and Town Hall Museum, 50 Public Square

Sunday
• 9 a.m. — Frosty 5K run and walk, beginning at 9 a.m.
• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Individual-carving competition
• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Medina Engine House and Town Hall Museum, 50 Public Square
• 1 to 6 p.m. — Main Street Medina Wine Tasting, 32 Public Square

Monday
• All carvings on display around Public Square

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.