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Richmond Meltdown Winter Ice Festival celebrates 7th year of weekend family fun

“All Indiana” visits Meltdown Winter Ice Festival in Richmond, Indiana

RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — The Richmond Meltdown Winter Ice Festival has given families a fun-filled weekend experience for seven years.

Organizers say every year the ice-sculpting competition excites the festival crowd the most. Professional carvers turn 1,200 pounds of ice into art during the timed competition, and the audience gets to judge who can create the best sculpture.

Festival spokesperson Alison Zajdel said, “When the guys are on stage and they’re carving and there’s ice flying everywhere and there’s chainsaws, it’s just so much fun.”

Edwin “Hacksaw” Hutchison came from South Carolina. He has competed and showcased his ice-sculpting skills at the Richmond Meltdown for three consecutive years.

“We love it and I think that shows, and we love the people here and I believe that shows as well,” Hutchison said. “Every year I look forward to coming back.”

Hutchison used one of the sculptures he created, for the festival, to honor the people in Australia who were facing hardship after battling a surge of wildfires.

Richmond Meltdown Winter Ice Festival is coming to downtown Richmond for the 7th year. Artists will turn 22 tons of ice into works for art like these. Check it out! WISH-TV #WISHTVALLINDIANA

Posted by Randall Newsome on Thursday, January 23, 2020

“When you read about these kinds of headlines your heart goes out to them and we try to do something to represent that,” Hutchison said.

Meanwhile, the kids get to play games made of ice at the Interactive Play Zone. Corn hole, pingpong, chess and Skee-Ball are just some of the fun activities to be enjoyed. Other highlights include fire shows, concerts, local food trucks, fireworks and more. Zajdel says the festival symbolizes the city of Richmond’s love for the winter season and celebrates the cold weather that comes with it.

“It’s the only festival where you wish for bad weather,” Zajdel said. “You want it to be cold and we want people bundled up but when they get here they’ll just feel the energy from everybody and love it.”

The Richmond Meltdown Festival’s main events are happening Friday and Saturday. Competitions on both nights start at 7:30 p.m. at Elstro Park Plaza in downtown Richmond.

Schedule

FRIDAY

Magical Snowflakes on Main, All day, Main Street | Large snowflakes will be placed along Main Street with positive, uplifting quotes. Participants will collect code words from each snowflake to form a secret message. Then, you can turn in your passport at Welcome Center for special prize!

Interactive Play Zone, All day, Jack Elstro Plaza | Play games MADE OF ICE, take photos with the sculptures, and take in the magical creations made by world-class carvers.

Frosty Mugs Pub Crawl, 5:30 PM, Local bars (21+) | Participants can start at any of the five stops: Smiley’s, Firehouse, Cordial Cork, New Boswell, or Roscoes. After stopping at 4 of the 5 locations, come on down to Elstro Plaza to receive your mug! Hosts will be located at each entryway to mark cards off for guests.

Bales Fox Fire Performance, 6:00 PM, Jack Elstro Plaza | What would the Meltdown be without a little FIRE? Enjoy a BLAZING HOT show from local fire troupe Bales Fox Fire. Are you ready for the HEAT?

The Big Reveal, 7:30 PM, Elstro Plaza | Lights, camera, CARVERS! Watch as ice flies and world class carvers work together to create massive melting artwork before a hyped-up crowd!

SATURDAY

Magical Snowflakes on Main, All day, Main Street | Large snowflakes will be placed along Main Street with positive, uplifting quotes. Participants will collect code words from each snowflake to form a secret message. Then, you can turn in your passport at Welcome Center for special prize!

Interactive Play Zone, All day, Jack Elstro Plaza | Play games MADE OF ICE, take photos with the sculptures, and take in the magical creations made by world-class carvers.

Hayes Hikes & Hot Chocolate, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Hayes Arboretum | Warm up after exploring nature with free hot chocolate in the nature center! Driving tour, hiking trails and nature center are all open and ready to explore!

Frozen Fairy Trail, 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM, Welcome Center | Children will participate in wintry crafts and games at each Enchanted Fairy Trail stop. Find maps at the Wayne County Tourism Bureau.

Music at the Meltdown, Various times & locations | See schedule below.

Achilles Tenderloin, 3:00 PM, Ply Fiber
Tyler Michael Walton, 3:45 PM, Circle E Clothing
Gypsy Schindler, 4:30 PM, Lifted Church
Charles Ramsey, 6:00 PM, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Richmond Friends School Choir/ The Brimleys (acapella group, Earlham College), 6:30 PM, Reid Presbyterian

Department of Improv Show, 5:15 PM, DIVA | Enjoy a FREE improv show at the Dudas Inspiration Venue for the Arts!

Bales Fox Fire Performance, 6:00 PM, Jack Elstro Plaza | What would the Meltdown be without a little FIRE? Enjoy a BLAZING HOT show from local fire troupe Bales Fox Fire. Are you ready for the HEAT?

The Meltdown Throwdown, 7:30 PM, Elstro Plaza | The battle is ON! Will Team Fire or Team Ice prevail? Watch the ice fly as world class carvers IMAGINE and DELIVER on amazing ice sculptures in a battle where YOU decide who wins!

A scene Jan. 23, 2020, at the Richmond, Indiana, Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. (WISH Photo)
A scene Jan. 23, 2020, at the Richmond, Indiana, Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. (WISH Photo)
A scene Jan. 23, 2020, at the Richmond, Indiana, Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. (WISH Photo)

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